Behind the scenes before and after the Christmas Parade

first_imgLa Follette Police Officer Tim Collingworth directs traffic at Beech and Indiana before Saturday’s Christmas Parade.LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Long before the date for the next Christmas Parade is released, La Follette Chief of Police Bill Roehl and members of his department are already planning for the parade.     “We need to make sure we have plenty of officers available, because the majority of our officers have to be here to make it happen.  Training, vacations and the regular work schedule are worked around,” said Roehl.See more photos HERE from Charlie and Lindsey Hutson.The police department works with the street department on street closures and detours, too.  “We set up the big arrow boards, flashing information signs, to send traffic down particular streets.  Plus we bring out lots of reflective cones and reflective orange barrels for the police to use,” said Jim Mullens, director of the La Follette Street Department.La Follette Fire Department’s C- Shift of Jeff Fugate, Dusty Davis, Brad Young, Sparky, Blake Kitts, Chris Hugenard, Captain Charles Hutson.For the La Follette Fire Department, eight firefighters are dedicated to the parade itself and are set up in all directions around the parade route.  LFD Captain Charles Hutson said, “We begin waxing trucks on the Monday, the week of the parade.  However, work on decorating the town begins weeks earlier.”  Given there are fire trucks actually in the parade, Hutson adds, “We’ll just pull out of the parade an answer a call if need be.”Here are some of the members of the La Follette Street Department. (Left to right) Seth Dixon, Steve Goins, Jimmy Marlow, Adam Hutson.Santa’s sleigh rides on a big decorated flatbed truck at the end of the parade.  It’s Mullens and the street department staff that spend a week decorating the truck for Santa Claus.  Mullens said, “We put lights on the truck, lock down the sleigh and mount the reindeer.”  After the parade, Santa’s ride is then un-decorated, and the truck is turned back over to its owner.Over three shifts, involving 30 firefighters, the fall decorations are taken down prior to the parade.  Hutson said, “We spend three days with all three shifts putting up the Christmas decorations along the parade route.  During that time Mandi Rodriguez, La Follette city administrative assistant, is very instrumental in making all this happen.  She’s here all three days.”Andrew Wilson (left) and Jimmy Wilson (right)  were part of the Pyro Shows team on Saturday night.October is when Pyro Shows begins preparations for its Christmas Parade performances.  A show is shot at about 6:20 pm from the West La Follette School launch site on Depot Street with the Pyro Shows float shooting fireworks at three different junctures along the parade route.Jimmy Huddleston with Pyro explains that permits are filed with La Follette Fire Chief Charles Eldridge, and those documents are then sent on to the state for final approval.  He said, “The technicians resume’s and copies of their licenses are included in that packet.”  Huddleston adds that the kinds of shells and where they’re being shot from must be included.Here are six of the 24 La Follette Policeman who worked Saturday’s Christmas Parade: (Left to right) Sgt. James Farmer, Daniel Smith, Sgt Charles Duff, Aaron Adkins, Sgt. Homer Herrell, Mike Satkowski.Twenty-four La Follette Police Officers are assigned to the parade helping with traffic control and patrol in various locations.  LPD Captain Steven Wallen rides a motorcycle all around the parade route.  “He’s our trouble shooter, working in and through areas where we can’t get a patrol car.  He also keeps the parade flowing helping to prevent large gaps between entrants as well as making sure attendees are safe along both sides of the street,” said Roehl.  The chief expressed great appreciation to Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins.  Goins assigned six deputies to assist the LPD with the parade.The street department sets out trash cans along the parade route.  Those cans are picked up and emptied right after the parade finishes.  Mullens said, “We spent a couple of hours cleaning up immediately after the parade, and then six people worked on Sunday to continue the clean-up.  Sometimes clean-up takes two days and several people.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/10/2019-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE & LINDSEY HUTSON)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img

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