Millville celebrates 20th annual Christmas Parade

Sometimes the smallest communities have the biggest spirit. Friday, hundreds, if not thousands,...
Sometimes the smallest communities have the biggest spirit. Friday, hundreds, if not thousands, came together for the 20th annual Millville Christmas Parade.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 9:17 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sometimes the smallest communities have the biggest spirit. Friday, hundreds, if not thousands, came together for the 20th annual Millville Christmas Parade.

This may be a tiny town. But when it comes to Christmas spirit, Millville knows how to deck the halls.

“It’s very heartwarming. I love being around small-town people all about family and kids,” Panama City resident Laura Smallwood said.

Family is exactly what brought resident Penny Joyner to this year’s holiday parade.

“She said Ma Ma, I’m gonna be a baton twirler in the parade and you got to come to Millville and see me with the baton in the parade,” Panama City resident Penny Joyner said. “I said pumpkin, Ma Ma will be there.”

But of course, her granddaughter wasn’t the only one performing in the big parade.

“All the high school bands in the county except one, but most of them showed up they came all the way to Millville from across the bridge,” Panama City Commissioner Jenna Haligas said.

No doubt a successful turnout. Even the Grinch couldn’t steal this Christmas spirit.

“I think it just shows and reminds us of how far we’ve come and the recovery and how joyful everybody is,” Haligas said.

The small community in Panama City hasn’t had the easiest couple of years, with the hurricane, then the pandemic, and most recently, the paper mill shutting down.

“It’s made a lot of people struggle, along with my family and everybody else but we all come together,” Joyner said.

City leaders said there’s much to be thankful for this year.

“There is a lot of exciting things going on. We’ve been able to update the lighting in downtown of Millville, we’ve been able to complete the kayak launch and it’s ready. We finished the fishing pier at the waterfront park. We have finished Kraft Field with new irrigation lighting, fencing trees, and there’s not to mention $20 million going into water and sewer and road infrastructure just right here in Millville,” Haligas said. “Probably one of the really exciting things that you’re going to be able to tell though, is that they were granted $1.2 million in the hometown revitalization grant and that is just going to be a really big thing for Millville.

But Friday wasn’t about all of that. It was about Christmas, candy canes, and the kids.

“They really care for the kids. they make sure they get the candy and have fun,” Panama City resident Makenzie Knippenberg said.

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