Cary, NC — It was an absolute joy to attend and photograph the return of the Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade in Downtown Cary on Saturday.
I took it as a good sign when I noticed lawn chairs already positioned for the parade on Friday night for those claiming their front-row seat. The afternoon, though quite windy, was filled with the sounds of marching bands, revving engines and, of course, the cheers of children as Santa Claus made his way down the parade route of E. Chatham and Academy Streets.
Starting off the parade was a brand new Town of Cary “toy” — one of two Cary Police Teslas that were approved as part of a pilot program in April 2021 by the Cary Town Council. The second Tesla followed soon behind, transporting Mayor Harold Weinbrecht.
These new top-of-the-line emergency vehicles were a $150,000 investment, allocated from the Town’s federal drug forfeiture fund balance. The cars, according to the Town, are designed to provide a clean energy solution that will save fuel and maintenance costs as well as reduce carbon emissions equivalent to the amount produced by 1 home per year.
With the final turn of Santa’s float in front of the Cary Arts Center, the parade wrapped up and people started to walk in all different directions to return home or to their vehicles. Instead of moving, I stood there. I looked around and saw what I hope to be the turning of a new page in Cary’s story.
As the holiday season continues, I will remember those smiles, the family interactions that took place all around me and the palpable feeling of hope and community that was alive in Downtown Cary on Saturday.
Story and photos by Ashley Kairis.
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