Wagener holds soggy celebration
WAGENER — The threat of wet weather threw some doubt on the fate of Wagener’s Christmas parade, but organizers gave their event a green light and the Saturday procession went on as scheduled – moist but “awesome,” as one booster described it.
“It was an awesome parade. Even though it rained, we made it,” said Amy Fields, who served as the announcer, presenting a guest list with a variety of churches, fire departments, businesses and schools.
The morning event was “a bit wet,” as described by Wagener Mayor Mike Miller, and plenty of participants had umbrellas and other rain gear on hand for the mile-long trek, which started at A.L. Corbett Middle School and concluded at Wagener-Salley High School.
“The ones that volunteered, I think they need an extra shout,” said George Smith, a Wagener Town Council member. “They just came in and started working, and I thought that was a show of community interest, and I thought it went well.”
One of the most popular attractions was brought by Walther Farms. The Michigan-based company, which owns thousands of acres around Aiken County, provided armloads of free potatoes, collards and other Walther-grown goodies, allowing adults to head home with something in addition to traditional parade candy.
Among the dozens of participants were such organizations as Sue’s Grill, Wisteria Properties, Holland Creek Fire Department, Wally’s Septic Service, Atomic Dogs Motorcycle Club, Security Federal Bank and Saron Baptist Church. Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker was on hand, as were Aiken County Sheriff Mike Hunt, S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson.
A new display of civic pride came with the help of Wagener-Salley High School’s football team, coached by Willie Fox. This season’s War Eagles rode in the parade, celebrating a season in which they secured a 10-2 record, won the region championship and advanced to the third round of the playoffs.