Despite cloudy skies, thousands of festively attired spectators lined Eastway Drive to cheer on the annual Troutman Christmas Parade on Saturday morning.

Troutman Parks and Decoration Director Emily Watson said 116 entries signed up for this year’s festivities, including holiday floats, antique vehicles and tractors, decked out show cars, Acrofitness kids, Scouts, beauty queens, Grinches, and politicians.

Of course, the star of the show, Santa Claus, arrived on a Troutman Fire and Rescue engine with two lively elves, waving to delighted children at the 45-minute parade’s conclusion. Marine Corps League volunteers helped Santa collect Toys for Tots from attendees.

Prior to the parade, many enjoyed breakfast put on by the Troutman Rotary Club at South Iredell High School. Santa also made an early appearance to hear children’s Christmas wishes.

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