Thousands turn out for Bi-City Christmas Parade

With many waving small American flags and some wearing colorful Santa hats, thousands filled the streets of Phenix City and Columbus Saturday for the Annual Bi-City Christmas Parade.

“It puts me more in the Christmas spirit,” said Columbus resident Bennie Key.

Key was among the throngs of people who stood on sidewalks, relaxed in lawn chairs or in the back of pickup trucks along the parade route which stretched from Broad Street in Phenix, across 13th to Broadway in downtown Columbus.

The parade was temporarily held up after a child fell from a float near the KFC at 13th Street and Broad in Phenix City. Key said the annual event drew a large crowd this year compared to the one a year ago. “It’s a lot better than it was last year,” she said.

Wearing a pin with the picture of President Barack Obama and the First Family, Key noted that the country is in better shape. “The best part of all is our president - Obama for the second term,” she said.

Robert L. Price, a retired Army first sergeant, was with members of the Kingdom Metropolitan Worship Center to watch the parade. He said it was beginning to feel more like Christmas. “It’s coming slowly,” he said.

The season is coming as officials in Washington try to avoid the “fiscal cliff” by raising taxes on the wealthy while keeping tax breaks in place for the middle class. “It is hard to say,” Price said of the proposal. “We have to wait and see what it’s going to be.”

Michelle Huff of Columbus said she felt pretty good about the Christmas season. She was on the sidewalk with four children, her brother, sister-in-law and a friend.

“It’s pretty good,” she said. “No complaints.”

Kari Keith of Fort Benning was at the parade with her two young daughters, including Stella wearing a Santa hat and red coat, and a friend. “I thought it was really good,” Keith said. “It was really long but it was really good.”