As a boy, Brad Pond remembers his family would make their way to Georgia Avenue every December for the North Augusta Lions Club Christmas Parade. He was excited to see Santa on the back of the fire truck and anticipated some sugary sweets coming his way.
Now that he has three boys of his own, Pond has made his own parade tradition with his annual Pond Porch Party & Parade Palooza, which he holds in the front yard of his strategically acquired Georgia Avenue home.
“We moved here nine years ago and thought, hey let’s throw a little tailgate party before the parade,” Pond said.
In its first year, the palooza was just Pond, his wife Mandy, their boys and a few friends. This year, the Ponds were expecting more than 100 people.
“We love living downtown,” he said. “This makes for a great Christmas party.”
In true Southern fashion, the parade included decorated tractors, all terrain vehicles and horses, interspersed with local school cheerleaders and bands playing Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
All the local royalty made an appearance, including North Augusta High School’s homecoming king and queen, and many more.
The North Augusta Elementary School float featured the Grinch on a sleigh with the sign, “I’m dreaming of a Grinchless Christmas.”
In front of Bruster’s Real Ice Cream’s float was their mascot, Scoops, who received hundreds of little-armed hugs from the children lined up and down the street.
Brenda and Jamal Driskoll set up early toward the front of the parade, on East Martintown Road, with their three kids and some friends.
Before the parade was half over, the kids all had full bags of candy.
“This is why they really wanted to come,” Brenda Driskoll said.