FLORENCE — Floats, marching bands, fun and an appearance from the Jolly Old Elf were among the Christmassy scenes Thursday night at the Florence Christmas Parade.

The downtown parade featured a different route, starting at North Court Street before turning onto Tennessee Street and onto Seminary Street.

That was done so it would finish outside Shoals Theatre on Seminary Street, where Santa and Mrs. Claus hung around so children could visit with them, organizers said. Santa stayed busy Thursday night, also making himself available an hour before the parade.

The city's Christmas tree at the median on North Court Street helped provide a perfect scene at the parade's start.

The huge cedar tree came from Debra Newman's Hickory Hills Road residence in honor of her late husband, Mel Newman.

The city of Florence was going to cut down the tree, which was on city right of way, because it had become so large that it was a sight problem for motorists, and Debra Newman asked that it be used as the city's tree.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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