By Debbie Adams
Vinton held its annual Christmas Parade on November 30. This year’s theme was “Paint the
Town Christmas.” The parade is sponsored by the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce and the
Town of Vinton and traditionally kicks off the holiday season in the entire Roanoke Valley.
The town and Chamber have made an all-out effort to light up the town this holiday season from
the streets to the roofs, to the light poles and lampposts, decorating town buildings and especially
the Vinton War Memorial, and it was all on display along the parade route. The town looks
spectacular, thanks to the efforts of Vinton Public Works and town staff, local businesses, and
citizens with the holiday spirit.
Parade night actually got underway earlier in the afternoon at the Vinton Public Library with hot
cocoa (Hot Chocolate with a Cop) provided by the Vinton Police Department.
The Vinton Breakfast Lions Club, assisted by the William Byrd High School Leo Club, served
up the traditional All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner at the VFW Post on Lee Avenue from 4
p.m. until parade time.
Just prior to the parade, the annual tree lighting was held at the Vinton Municipal Building with a
welcome from Vinton Mayor Brad Grose. He read what has become his traditional message from
the play, “The Three Wise Men.”
“Just above our wonderful town with all the blinking lights aglow, shine millions of reminders of
a birthday long ago. So, find yourself a special star and take time to recall, that glorious first
Christmas, that’s the reason for them all.”
Dancers from the Floyd Ward School of Dance then entertained the crowd as they waited for the
parade to begin.
The Christmas Parade, with over 90 units, started off this year at the Vinton War Memorial,
traveled down Washington Avenue, and wound through the downtown streets. There were color
guards, gymnasts, dancers, student and professional athletes, Grinches, Girl Scouts, local
businesses, commercial entries, car and Jeep clubs, the always-popular Kazim Shriners clowns,
many churches, first responders, and horses from Spring Valley Farm.
Bands representing William Byrd, Staunton River, and Hidden Valley High Schools performed
the songs of the season.
A panel of judges – Bootie Chewning, Dr. Richard Turner, and Tina Turner – came up with the
winners (a real challenge) in this year’s Vinton Christmas Parade:
- Mayor’s Award (Best in Parade, given by the Town of Vinton): Western Virginia Water
- Religious Category 1st Place: Jordantown Wesleyan Praise Team (repeating from last
- Religious Category 2nd Place: Roanoke Adventist Christian School (repeating from last
- Religious Category 3rd Place: Valley Reach – Valley Church
- Non-Religious Category 1st Place: Roanoke County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
- Non-Religious Category 2nd Place: Berkshire Health and Rehab
- Non-Religious Category 3rd Place: Dept. of Wildlife Resources Conservation Police
- Best Children’s Float (sponsored by Eric Thomas, Associate Broker, Mountain View Real
Estate in Vinton): the William Byrd Middle School Cheerleaders
- Best Children’s Other (sponsored by Eric Thomas, Associate Broker, Mountain View
Real Estate in Vinton): the Roanoke Valley SPCA
The community thanks Angie Chewning and Kathryn Sowers from the Vinton Chamber, the
Town of Vinton staff, and the dedicated Vinton Public Works Dept., along with the Vinton
Police, for their efforts in producing a great parade, each, and every year—and they really outdid
themselves this year.
Thanks also to all the organizations and businesses who delighted the crowds with their floats,
music, characters, dressed up vehicles, and more.
Sponsors for the 2023 Vinton Christmas Parade included (Platinum Level) Bank of Botetourt,
MemberOne FCU, and Mountain View Real Estate; (Diamond Level) Town of Vinton and
Roanoke County; (Gold Level) Winters Storage, Magnets USA, Carilion Clinic, ServPro, Jason
Boothe, Realtor, and Alcova Mortgage; (Silver Level) Vertex, Fox Radio, PFG, Coastal
Insurance Planning, Lotz Funeral Home, TL Electric, HomeTrust Bank, and US Cellular/ANW;
and (Bronze Level) Vinton Messenger and McDonald’s. Fritz Sports & Event Enterprises
sponsored the Judge’s Stand.
More parade photos are available on the Vinton Messenger Facebook page.