It may have been the coldest stretch this winter but the frigid temperatures didn’t stop the residents of Emo and surrounding area from celebrating “Holly Daze.”
It seemed almost too cold to hold a parade but by 5:45 p.m. on Friday, both sides of Front Street were lined with cars waiting patiently for what they hoped would be a good parade.
Brave souls even waited on the sidewalk while sipping hot chocolate courtesy of the Emo recreation council.
Although it was a few minutes late reaching Front Street, those waiting on the street were not disappointed.
Thanks to the efforts of members of the Emo Chamber of Commerce, as well as area churches, groups, and individuals, this year’s parade was warmly welcomed by everyone on hand.
The Emo & District Hospital Auxiliary, with the help of the local Sea Cadets and Salvation Army, led the parade, collecting non-perishable for the local food bank.
Next came Bill Whiting with his decorated truck and a fantastic, brightly-lit float.
Whiting obviously spent a lot of time on the float, cutting out and hand-painting decorations while constructing a toy house complete with all kinds of teddy bears, dolls, and candies.
A special guest star in the parade was “Frosty the Snowman,” who rode in a convertible driven by Gary Judson despite the cold.
Kim-Jo Bliss also returned this year with her “Moo-ey Christmas” float.
Also taking part in the parade were a pair of cute miniature ponies, members of the minor hockey association, the directors and their families from the Emo Walleye Classic committee, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and Dave Goodman and his Arctic Cat float.
And, of course, bringing up the rear was Santa Claus, accompanied by Mrs. Claus and their little dog.
They were the obvious hit of the parade as far as the youngsters were concerned.
Following the parade, many stayed around for the fireworks, compliments of New Gold Mining, the Municipality of Emo, and the Emo Chamber of Commerce.
The efforts of the sponsors and the crew setting off the fireworks were greatly appreciated by everyone who braved the cold.
As far as the Chamber itself was concerned, “Holly Daze 2013” was a success.
“Business was been pretty steady today,” Tom Mosbeck of Tompkins Hardware enthused late Friday afternoon.
But things really picked up Saturday, with a lot of toys and others gifts leaving the store bound for warm, waiting cars.
That sentiment was echoed by most merchants. They certainly welcomed the business and were grateful so many people braved the cold weather to visit their stores.
If you missed some of the sales on the weekend, most businesses will be continuing their sales right up until Christmas.
Remember that shopping locally helps everyone in the community.
The weekend ended with the draw for the winners of the Emo gift certificates.
Corey Curtis and Eileen Bragg, both of Emo, each won a $250 gift certificate which can be used at various Emo businesses.