Despite cloudy skies, temperatures in the 50's and the occasional raindrop, the Foliage Sertoma Club of Apopka unveiled its 41st Annual Christmas Parade this morning.
An estimated crowd of 25,000 sat, stood, and strolled along Park Avenue as 90-plus floats, vehicles, marching bands, and displays took the traditional route to Votaw Road. The common theme that all entries used was “A Very Merry Christmas with Joyful Sounds”.
The parade originated in 1967 with the Apopka Chamber of Commerce in charge. In 1974, the Foliage Sertoma Club took over the event and has managed it ever since. It has become one of the largest parades in Orange County.
Steve Deviese was this year's Grand Marshall, and Pat McGuffin was the Master of Ceremonies.
Judges Pamela Joy Smith, John Davie and Dorian Goodman will choose the best float and best marching band. That announcement is scheduled for Tuesday.
Four marching bands from Apopka, Evans, Ocoee and Wekiva High Schools provided a steady stream of uplifting joyful sounds, and closing the parade was Santa Claus, followed by Apopka Fire Chief Chuck Carnesale.