He motioned to the hanging crosses and verses carved in oak.
“I retired from full-time ministry and took this up,” he said.
Standing off to the side of Neill’s booth was Diane Davis, parade coordinator. Davis said she was pleased with the parade and felt the procession went smoothly.
“It was one of the longer parades that we’ve had – almost 50 entries,” Davis, who has worked with the parade for the past 11 years, said. “It went real well, it went smooth. The only thing I hated about it, we only had one band this year – normally we have three or four – but other than that, it went real well.”
As for the chance of rain, Davis added that she was glad the skies were clear for the parade.
“I was asking for a little favor, Lord, and I got a little favor,” she said with a laugh – a sentiment shared, no doubt, by the countless families who turned out to spectate. Families like the Carrs, whose 6-year-old daughter Cambree got to ride on one of the floats.
Cambree told this reporter the parade was her favorite, as her parents stood nearby watching a skilled artist paint a “rainbow tiger” on the fair canvass of her face.
Stacey and Charlie Carr said they planned to spend a few more hours at the festival downtown before taking little tiger-faced Cambree to Boston's Buckaroos Kid Rodeo at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Pavilion on U.S. 287 North, slated for later that afternoon.
“She does a little mutton bustin’,” her father said.
Other festival attendants shared additional joys of the day, such as Palestine residents Danielle Rolen and her brother Caleb.
The two said they both look forward to the variety of food offered at the festival, which proved to be quite a variety this year, from cajun fare to homemade chips to old-fashioned soda pop.