County Christmas a real blast

Toy Story came to life Saturday when Sarge rolled down Oak Street in the Maxwell Country Christmas Parade in a 1942 World War II M5 Stuart tank, pulling Buzz, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, Woody, and Jesse on a trailer, and shooting soap bombs from the gun turret.

Canal Farms won “Best of Show” from Maxwell Parks and Recreation for the creation following the third annual event on Dec. 15.

“I think it was so original,” said Kim Troughton, parade judge. “It’s relatable because everybody knows that story. It was a great mix of people, kids, and lights. It was interactive, and he was actually shooting out of the canon.”

Parade participants also included Family Water Alliance, Bar M Cattle Company, Bowen Family, Reynolds Farms, Redding Oil, the Maxwell Fire Department, and Stardust Dance Company.

“They all did great,” said parade judge Sharol Kuska. “What really stood out was the tank from Toy Story, but Richter Aviation with the Santa was good, and Depue Warehouse with “Jingle Bell Rock” was really cute.”

Canal Farms’ Army tank, originally purchased by Linc Dennis after World War II, when it was decommissioned, had previously been converted to a crane. It has since been reconverted to its former military glory, and made it’s parade debut on Saturday.

Zack Dennis’ daughter, Ally, 6, who portrayed Cowgirl Jesse in the parade and accepted the Best of Show trophy from MPR President Kyle Miller, said the parade was really fun and that she was happy her dad won.

The third annual Maxwell Country Christmas, in addition to the light parade, featured about 18 vendor booths, a tree lighting ceremony, Santa Claus, and music provided by the Maxwell Elementary and Jr./Sr. band.

Miller thanked the Maxwell Fire Department, Maxwell Auxiliary Committee, MUSD music director Vicki Wilson, the parade participants, and all the people that come out to support Maxwell’s Christmas event.

“I think it’s a great tradition that Maxwell Parks and Recreation started, and I hope it continues on for many years to come,” Miller said.

Vendors were also happy with the turnout of people, including non-profits like Arbuckle Jr. Cheerleaders, who were raising money to go to nationals next month in Las Vegas, the Maxwell Cemetery District, and the Maxwell Auxiliary Committee, which was selling tri-tip sandwiches to raise money for community center improvements.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better night,” said Samantha Wilkins, of the Maxwell Auxiliary Committee. “The weather was fabulous. We sold out, and several of our other vendors sold out as well.”  ■