King of Parades


Budweiser Clydesdales attract large crowd to Johnson City Christmas Parade

A couple of youngsters watch the Johnson City Christmas Parade make its way down West Walnut Street. PHOTOS BY DAVE ONGIE
The famed Budweiser Clydesdales make their way through Fountain Square much to the delight of the large crowd. A combination of the Clydesdales and some nice weather attracted the largest crowd in recent memory to the annual parade.
Santa Claus rode into town on the recently restored 1928 Seagrave Fire Truck, which helped the Johnson City Fire Department battle some of the city’s most famous fires after rolling off the assembly line in Dec. of 1928.

The streets of downtown Johnson City were packed with the largest crowd in recent memory as the Johnson City Christmas Parade made its way through town last Saturday morning.

For once, Santa Claus had to share top billing as those in attendance clamored to get a closer look at the famed Budweiser Clydesdales, who participated in the parade thanks to the efforts of Holston Distributing. The Clydesdales spent a week in the area, making a variety of appearances that culminated in Saturday’s trot through the streets of Johnson City.

Science Hill’s JROTC cadets march down West Walnut Street.

This year’s parade was themed “Johnson City – Past, Present and Future” in honor of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration. The parade opened with a reenactor playing the role of Henry Johnson, the city’s first mayor, on a float marking the sesquicentennial.

Johnson City’s first mayor Henry Johnson rides on a float commemorating the city’s 150th anniversary in last Saturday’s Christmas Parade.

The parade concluded with Santa Claus riding a recently restored 1928 Seagrave fire truck. With so much focus on the city’s history this year, it was fitting that the truck – which was used to fight fires in Johnson City for years out of Central Fire Hall – was back on the parade route.

Several local dogs enjoyed collecting treats as the parade rolled by.

The truck was repurposed into a parade vehicle in the 1970s before falling into disrepair, and efforts by the Johnson City Professional Firefighters Association, the City of Johnson City and several civic groups got the historic truck back out on the parade route in time for the sesquicentennial celebration.


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