History made at Smith County parade - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

History made at Smith County parade

(Source: WLBT) (Source: WLBT)
(Source: WLBT) (Source: WLBT)
SMITH COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - History was made at the Smith County annual Christmas Parade Saturday, as organizers introduced the first African American Grand Marshall, Pastor Ronald Wilborn.

"It's certainly a great honor and somebody think a lot of me and I just thank The Lord for being considered worthy enough to be considered a grand Marshall of our county," said Pastor Wilborn.

The Smith County Christmas Parade is a staple in Raleigh, Mississippi. It draws people from all different ages and races and is the official start of the holiday season.

This parade is a staple for the county...it's the official start of the holiday season.

"We have fire trucks from almost all of the fire trucks in the county, we've got at least one float out of Morton, Ms. We have the antique cars," said Curtis Hegwood, Mayor of Raleigh, MS.

And the families love it.

"We got here just in time to get lined up my daughter is in the band their flag girls," said Shelia Bobbett of Raleigh.

"My grandson was in it with Santa Claus, he was riding on the float with Santa Claus, and he's seven his name is Jaden Grays," Carie Grays explained.

"It's a time when the whole county comes together and celebrate the birth of our savior," said Yvonne Robinson of Raleigh.

However, the parade is exceptionally special for Pastor Wilborn, who is the youngest of 12 children, a pastor of Open Bible Tabernacle and a business owner.

"I am so proud of him. That's a big thing, the first African American Grand Marshall in Raleigh, I would love for my grandfather to be alive to see this because he fought for stuff like that," said Vicki Watts of Raleigh.

Folks were happy to be a part of a historic time in Smith County and Pastor Wilborn says he's thrilled and thankful to be honored.

"I think it says a lot about our county we are growing and we are a loving county, we believe in hospitality, fellowship and good food," Wilborn explained. "I'm a witness that if you treat people like you want to be treated, good things do come to you. God will reward you for your works." 

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