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By GWEN SISSON
Maben Church of God of Prophecy was the big winner in the Best Float Contest at Thursday nightâ€™s Maben Christmas Parade.
Second place honors went to Shirleyâ€™s Beauty Shop. The third place winner for the Best Float contest was St. Stephens United Methodist Church. The parade began downtown with city police cars and the Starkville High Schoolâ€™s JROTC unit presenting the colors.
The grand marshal was East Mississippi Community College President Rick Young, who kicked off the parade in a shiny red convertible. He was closely followed by the EMCC marching band who had the crowds dancing in the street to a variety of Christmas music.
By the time the parade turned the corner, sirens from multiple fire trucks and sheriffâ€™s/police cars provided excitement to the those watching on Mississippi Highway 15.
Several floats threw candy for the crowds to enjoy, but it was Santa riding on a bright red fire truck, throwing candy, that got the attention of all the children in Maben Thursday night.
The crowd enjoyed hot chocolate, provided free by the Maben Chamber of Commerce.
After the parade, the Chamber distributed Christmas gifts to the crowd, featuring a New Testament Bible, an EMCC pencil, a gift certificate for a free cone or scoop of ice cream by Larryâ€™s of Maben and a peppermint candy cane with a special poem about the legacy of the candy.
The gifts were provided by the Maben Chamber of Commerce and local churches.