DECATUR — The Christmas parade Friday in Decatur had about 30 entries and was attended by a large crowd, according to Jan Addy, chairman of the Parade Committee for the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce.

Leading it off was Danny Cherry, Grand Marshal of the 2006 Decatur Christmas Parade. The highlight of the parade for the children was the annual visit from Santa Claus riding on his sleigh pulled by the famous reindeer. J.W. Thrash was parade announcer, a post he has held for many years.

Marijo Denson, president of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce, presented Cherry with an appreciation plaque in front of the Newton County Courthouse for his many years of unselfish service to the Decatur community.

“Danny has spent many hours working on beautifying Decatur at Christmas time and at other times throughout the year,” Denson said.

“He has been employed at La-Z-Boy South in Newton for 35 years. He has been an active member of the Decatur Fire Department for 28 years. He is retired from the Mississippi Army National Guard with 34 years of service. He received the EMP of the Year Award from the State of Mississippi in 2004. He is a CPR instructor and has contributed to many different areas of civic and community activities.”

Cherry and his wife, Merita, have one daughter, who is married to Tim Chambers. The Cherrys have one grandchild, Mac Chambers.

Addy expressed her appreciation to the following individuals who worked to make the parade a big success: Jackie Etie, Merita Cherry, Mark Buntyn, Marijo Denson, Ann Burkes, J.W. Thrash, Melinda Haralson, Sue Graham, the Decatur Police Department, employees of the town of Decatur and employees of East Central Community College.

A block party followed the Christmas parade. Delicious food was served and good entertainment was enjoyed. Kenneth Jones was on hand making his famous stew. Many people stayed after the parade to enjoy the activities.

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