Dancers, bands, students lead Columbia’s 60th Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade

ccope@thestate.comDecember 7, 2013 

The last time Lynn McClure was in a parade was about 40 years ago when she was in marching band.

But on Saturday she made her parade comeback – this time as a dancer – jiving to jingles as part of Columbia’s 60th annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade.

McClure was with the group from Capital City Dance and Fitness, which had a “Peppermint Twist” theme, with a float that resembled a retro diner. About 50 dancers in the group entertained the crowds of people watching the performance – despite the warm, muggy weather.

The dancers range in age from 2 to almost 60; McClure is the oldest.

“I probably have about 20 years on everybody else,” McClure said.

But her age certainly didn’t slow her down – she even dances to hip hop music and can do the “Wobble” a contemporary line dance.

“If it’s got rhythm and, it’s got a beat, it’s music,” she said.

During the parade, a few of the younger kids rode on the diner float. They had fake milkshakes – clear goblets filled with cotton and peppermint-like straws and shouted “Merry Christmas” while waving to kids sitting in strollers and adults in chairs, and even some dogs, lining Gervais Street.

Woody LaBoon from West Columbia drove the truck that pulled the float, which was followed by all of the dancers. He constantly watched all of the trucks mirrors to keep everybody safe.

He said the that the toughest part of pulling the float is making sure he doesn’t run over anybody’s toes.

Logan Elementary School students wore Hawaiian shirts and Santa hats while banging on drums to a Christmas tune.

Marching bands dazzled watchers with song and dance.

Other floats carried pageant queens, karate masters and even the local Paul Mitchell school students and workers, who were dressed as Whos from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Near the corner of Gervais and Marion streets, 7-year-old Amiyah McDowell watched the parade with her family.

As Santa Claus got closer, Amiyah said she wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. Amiyah and her mom agreed that she had been a good girl this year so she might have made it on Santa’s nice list.

After the jolly icon with his white beard and red suit and reindeer passed by, Amiyah considered his appearance.

“He needs to cut his hair,” she said with the candor of a child.

But even with his long locks, Amiyah still hopes he will visit her house.

And maybe the hair stylist Whos can help Santa out.

Reach Cope at 803-771-8657 or on Twitter @cassielcope.

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