By Cayce Lee Social Media Specialist Elkmont, Alabama, is a small community in Limestone County, between Athens and the Tennessee State line. It is probably best known for the Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails, goat cheese makers Belle Chevre and Humble Heart Farms, and antique and specialty shops. Elkmont’s rural roots and agricultural traditions lend to its year-round draw. Elkmont’s population of approximately 253 triples on the first Saturday in December each year as the promise of marching bands, floats and the “Man in Red” appearance flourish before the annual Christmas Parade. Elkmont’s small police department had a community-wide response to help with the increased population and traffic that moved into the community for the big day. As main roads were closed to traffic for the parade, the Elkmont Fire Department; Ardmore Volunteer Fire Departments; and officers from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Athens Police Department volunteered their time to keep the community and visitors safe and direct traffic. The temporary population boom – and economic boon to downtown businesses -- results from the parade hosted by the Elkmont Lions Club, which was planned by 7 members of the very active community civic club for the 2017 event. This year’s parade theme was “Christmas on the Farm,” paying homage to the contributions of farmers and agriculture to the community and the world. This year’s parade stretched from end to end with 46 entries including Elkmont High School’s Marching Red Devil Band and cheerleaders, 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, and even participation from the Limestone County Revenue Commission. Fortunately for this year’s parade, the week of sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures continued for its December 2nd 1:00 P.M. kickoff leading to happy, large crowds for the day. The parade started at Elkmont High School and wound through the heart of Downtown Elkmont, Alabama, ending at the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center on AL-127, giving folks from near and far plenty of opportunities to line the route and enjoy the season’s greetings from each float, tractor, car and in-between entrants. To highlight this year’s “Christmas on the Farm” theme, tractors rolled out for the parade, as well, and a special division for “Best Antique Tractor” was added to the yearly category of Best Float. The Elkmont Lions Club invited Teresa Todd, Rita Jordan, and Barbara Evans to judge the floats, and Tim Toone from Owens and Mike Gooch to judge the tractors for this year’s event. This year’s awards are as follows: Best Antique Tractor: 1st Place-- Tommy Elmore's 1936 BR John Deere and Wagon; 2nd Place - Larry Appleton's 1957 601 Ford, and 3rd Place - Rusty Beddingfield's 1956 Allis Chalmers WD45. Float Awards: Grand Prize - The Limestone County Revenue Commission, 1st Place - New Bethel Baptist Church, 2nd Place Girl Scout Troop 1133/1134, 3rd Place - Limestone County 4-H Photo Courtesy of Susan Plyant of Elkmont Lions Club By: Cayce Lee Social Media Specialist

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