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Hogansville prepares for parade

The 1953 Ford F600/Pirsch pumper fire truck will make its first official debut in decades during the Hogansville Christmas Old and New Parade Thursday, Dec. 12. 

The fire truck was retired and put into storage after the engine froze years ago, and the City of Hogansville didn’t know it existed, until recently. Since then, city staff have been working tirelessly to get the truck back up and running. 

“We got the engine running and it is being detailed as we speak,” Hogansville City Manager David Milliron said. “Our public works superintendent Andy Jones will be driving it. He has worked 200 plus hours getting it ready for the parade, so, we found it to be a fitting honor for him to drive it. The mayor will ride shotgun with him for the parade, too.” 

This year’s theme of old and new will feature everything new to Hogansville, but also old. 

“We will have the old fire truck and a new fire truck,” Milliron said. “We will have the old council and the new council. They will be riding in the parade on a train.” 

Milliron said the city can also expect to see some new traditions start this year. 

“This year is more than just a parade,” Milliron said.

Anyone who has a Christmas sweater that they think is the tackiest of tacky, can wear it to Hogansville’s inaugural ugly Christmas sweater contest before the parade from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Participants can go by the former PNC bank building at 111 High Street to enter and have their picture taken for the contest. 

The one rule is that it must be a sweater or sweater vest with a Christmas, Hanukkah or winter theme. 

“We will also have a dog costume contest,” Milliron said. 

City Clerk Lisa Kelly said If you want to glam up your dog in holiday attire, Hogansville will feature its inaugural canine Christmas costume contest during the same time and place as the ugly sweater contest. 

 “We are pretty excited for this year’s parade,” Milliron said. “There are 25 entries, which is the largest we’ve had it.” 

Callaway High School head football coach Pete Wiggins will be this year parade grand marshal. 

“It was the parade committee’s decision,” Milliron said. “They believe he has worked very hard to pull the community together. Ever since Hogansville shut down its schools, he has worked hard to always make sure that the community knows that Callaway High School is Hogansville’s high school.” 

The parade will begin at 7 p.m. at East Main Street from Johnson Street to Highway 29, which will be closed to traffic from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“This year will be a lot different, and we will also have food vendors set up,” Milliron said. “We are taking over downtown.” 

Photos with Santa will also begin after the parade at 404 East Main, with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Calvin Hipp Park as the parade begins. 

There will also be Christmas stories read in the gazebo at the park beginning at 6 p.m.

“That has been a past tradition for several years now,” Kelly said. “The city used to have a huge tree that the Pilot Club would decorate. The tree ran its life and began to die and we had to cut it down.” 

After the tree was cut down almost a decade ago, the club wanted to make sure that the city had something still that gave memory to the tree. 

“That’s when they started to add the two trees every year at the park,” Kelly said.