Cold weather is no deterrent for Jamestown residents who want to watch a parade.
The Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation held its annual Christmas parade Friday, and thousands of people lined the streets to watch, despite the cold temperatures.
Those with the thickest skin arrived at Tracy Plaza at 5:45 p.m. to hear Razz and Friends play a handful of holiday-themed songs, while the majority started lining the streets at 6:30 p.m. to watch the beginning of the parade.
A few savvy parade-goers, however, didn't line the streets at all, but gathered on top of the parking structure at the corner of Spring and Third Streets to watch the parade from a bird's-eye view.
"I thought it might be a good vantage point," said Donna Chubon, who drove from Randolph to see her first Christmas parade. "I didn't want to be (on the street) and be behind everyone else, where I couldn't see the parade. I thought this would be a good place to see it."
"This is terrific," said Dick Chubon. "We're right above the kettle corn tent, so, if nothing else, that smell will keep us occupied throughout the parade. ... This is a great evening so far and I'm sure it will get better.
The Chubons were not the only spectators at the parade who were raving about the kettle corn tent. Down below the parking garage, John Stanz, owner of Outback Kettle Corn, couldn't pop his kettle corn fast enough for the hungry patrons.
"We're actually from Hamburg, but we come down to Jamestown every year for the parade, because it's our favorite event of the year," said Stanz. "The spectators are treating us remarkably well. We're one of the few foods out here, but even if there was plenty of competition, I think people would still come to us. The (popcorn) is a cross between a light, mild sweetness, but it's not like a caramel corn. With caramel corn, you get full after a few handfuls, but with this you can eat the whole bag and still feel good. All it takes is maybe a cup of coffee and a bag of kettle corn and you'll be able to stay warm through the whole parade."
Of course, aside from those who were participating in the parade, there were also a handful of people on Third Street who weren't spectators, such as Patrol Officer Shawn Kepple. Kepple had the job of keeping the peace where traffic was allowed to intersect the parade on Washington Street, however that didn't keep him from having fun. Floats which passed would occasionally throw candy his way, and on a few occasions he even gave a fist-bump to those marching in the parade.
"It's all about having a good time," said Kepple. "There's a lot of people I know in the parade. It's a benefit - I've got to work, but I'm here and I get to see a lot of great people. (Washington Street and Third Street) is a major intersection, so we're trying to maintain the integrity of the traffic and provide security for the parade, but I'm having fun. It's an absolute blast."
And once the parade was over, the smiles on spectator's faces made it evident that it was worth standing in the cold for.
"The parade was great," said Joyce Mallare. "We absolutely loved the (Der Kobblers) dancing Christmas tree. My husband Frank loved all the horses in the parade. I think this is one of the best parades, as far as the length, that I've ever seen. ... We were given free samples of kettle corn and a few people in the parade gave us candy -we really had a great time. We made sure to put in our "stuff the bus" donation as well. It was a night well spent."