(Above) The Davis Choir performed at Saturday's Dade Small Business Expo, providing auditory cheer and photographic angst to such intrepid journalists as sought to chronicle the Dec. 9 gala. Though the melodious munchkins sang in a combined voice as big as the sky, they are, hello, elementary school kids and in stature somewhat smaller than the sky; so that the retaining wall behind which they sang reduced them in some cases to a nose and a pair of eyes, or a rack of reindeer antlers. (It was your classic case of children being heard, not seen.)
The Expo, sponsored by the Dade Chamber of Commerce and Greater Dade Business Owners Association, provided a festival of local Christmas shopping opportunities before the annual Dade Christmas parade, which followed at 6 p.m. Dade Discount Days, GDBOA's local-shopping initiative, through which shoppers may register for prizes at any participating business (easily identifiable by a sign out front) kicked off at the event. At left, GDBOA's Nathan Wooten gives out prizes.
Practically all Dade's local businesses are participating in Dade Discount Days, and many had booths at the Expo. At right, Melanie Weathers of Trenton's Factory Connection hawks her wares. The store, located in the Ingle's shopping center, sells clothing and fashion accessories.
At left, sisters Barbie Evans and Jessica Geselbracht of JB's Variety Store on South Main sell plaques. JB's is not purely in the plaque biz but sells everything from art supplies to vanilla extract, including toys and sewing fabric--"a true variety store."
At right, Liz Riddle of The Lily Pad/Quilter's Garden, on Main Street just north of downtown, was highlighting a new feature: Liz sells Christmas trees and other holiday decor in her garden center and offers quilting supplies, services and lessons in the other side of her store. In January, her quilt shop will begin participating in the "Quilt a Murder or Murder a Quilt" program, in which quilters solve a mystery by putting together panels of a quilt.
At left, Levi Wallin of Bottom Dollar Tools sells widgets, wadgets, gizmos, gadgets, tools, knives--well! Pop in Bottom Dollar, located on 136 West near Food City, to get an idea and/or sensory overload.
Below, Girl Scout Troop 40118 members (from left) Leieh Arnold, Halee Mason, Alysa Merce, Julie Hodgson and Sara Wade were fundraising for an upcoming trip to Savannah.
The weather Saturday was frigid--highs in the low 40s, lows in the low 20s. At left, Heather Scott-Wallin quakes as she recruits foster parents for DFACS.
Below, right, Grand Marshal Larry Moore said he didn't mind the cold as he prepared to lead the parade in his bad ride.
Moore, who was Dade's longtime sole commissioner before the county government went to a five-commissioner board in the '90s, founded the Dade Christmas parade in 1982. He had seen a parade in East Ridge, Tenn., and didn't see why Dade shouldn't have a community event like that of its own.
At left, Dade High School Marching Band members assemble at Trenton City Hall before the parade.
Below, right, pastor Jim Lilley shows off Edgewood Baptist Church's float.
Below left, County Executive Ted Rumley hoists candy canes to festoon the Georgia Forestry Commission's float. Who says the Boss doesn't work for his salary?
Below, right: Somebody's got to drive the band bus, and in this case it was Dr. James Cantrell, who might as well--he's done just about every other job at the Dade school system! After a stint as assistant principal at the high school and another as STEM coordinator, Dr. Cantrell is now managing the school bus fleet.
Below, center, shiny red fire trucks are always the stars of the parade. Want to ride in one? Try volunteering! Dade's fire departments are manned (and womaned!) by volunteers, and fresh blood is badly needed. It's hard work and the pay seriously sucks, but ask anyone--it feels great to hang with the homies and participate in the community!