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Santa pays visit before parade

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Santa was the guest of honor at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce's Open House Thursday.
Executive Director Cheryl Bradford said Santa visited the Chamber all day leading up the start of the Russellville Christmas Parade.
"We had several people stop by and get popcorn and drinks," Bradford said. "We also had a lot of children stop in to see Santa."
Bradford said the open house was the Chamber's way of spreading holiday cheer in Russellville before the start of the parade.
"We want to encourage people to come downtown this holiday season," Bradford said.
Bradford's mother, Martha Masingill, said she remembers what downtown looked like at Christmas.
"It was always beautiful and busy with people," she said. "It was a lot different then."
Bradford said she was delighted by the response she received during the open house, and the event extended through the start of the Christmas parade.
"This year, we have three great judges," Bradford said. "I got Linda Holcomb, (Red Bay) Mayor Bobby Forsythe and William Smith to judge this year's parade."
Holcomb said there were a lot of good entries and described the parade as beautiful.
Bradford said she is pleased by the way the holiday season has just come together for the chamber and looks forward to upcoming events.
The parade winners were not available Friday as the chamber office was closed due to the Russellville High School football team's Class 5A state championship game against Vigor Friday night in Birmingham.