Christmas Parade lights up Reid Avenue

There were more than 90 entries in this year’s Port St. Joe Christmas Parade, which lit up Reid Avenue for more than an hour on Saturday night.

Festivities began around 3 p.m., more than three hours before the start of the parade, when downtown was closed to traffic and floats began to line up on Cecil G. Costin Boulevard. The line would eventually stretch down the street for blocks.

Many visitors stayed out even after the parade had ended, and restaurants in downtown Port St. Joe had long waits all evening.

The float competition was split into four categories – faith based, business, family and friends, and school or non-profit organization. 

In the faith-based category, United Pentecoastal Church brought home the first place prize for their recreation of a nativity scene. First Baptist Church claimed second place and Long Avenue Baptist Church was third.

Gulf ARC – Transportation, an organization that provides transportation to those with developmental disabilities, won first place in the schools and nonprofits category. The runner-up was the Port St. Joe Garden Club, and the Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center took home the bronze medal.

First place in the friends and family category went to Swivel Sisters, and second place was claimed by Judy Mick and friends. The Forgotten Coast Dancing Witches took home the third place prize.


Bonavic won the business category, followed by the St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve and Bayside Resell.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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