Downtown Wewahitchka was packed on Saturday evening, with members from around the community gathering in festive sweaters to catch candy and wave at first responders who rode by in decorated trucks.
The annual Christmas Parade lit up Highway 71 for more than half an hour, featuring floats from the Sheriff’s Office, the fire department, local businesses and other Wewahitchka-based organizations.
Afterwards, visitors gathered under the covered pavilion in lake Alice Park for the second annual Christmas at the Courthouse to parooze booths set up by local organizations and take photos with Santa.
The event was meant to be held on Wewahitchka’s Historic Courthouse’s lawn, but was moved to the nearby pavilion out of concerns for the weather. Ann Johnson, who organized Christmas at the Courthouse, said the event is held to raise awareness for the town’s landmark building, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Michael and has sat in disrepair since.
She invited Jodie Rustin to speak at the gathering and explain the courthouse’s significance.
“Of course, the courthouse is still a work in progress,” Rustin said. “We always want to bring attention to it. That was the goal for Christmas at the Courthouse.”
“But one thing that always used to be at the courthouse was the Christmas tree lighting, and the one that’s over there now is just way too big… So Ms. Crystal Webb, with Sweet Baby’s Farm, donated a thuja green giant tree. So we’ve got it over here. We’ve got it decorated, and we’re going to light it, and then after the event we’re going to plant it at the Courthouse.”