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November 29, 2021

Coy Reese named Alexander Christmas Parade Grand Marshal

Coy Reese

The Alexander County Christmas Parade is scheduled for the first Saturday in December, which is Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. This year’s parade is the 74th annual opening of the holiday season in Alexander County. There are numerous holiday observances throughout the month of December, and the annual Christmas Parade has long served as the official kick-off to the holiday season. This year will prove to be no exception. The 2021 version of the Christmas Parade is being sponsored by the Alexander County Government.

“The Parade Committee is very pleased to congratulate this year’s Grand Marshal Coy Reese on this honor for his committed service to Alexander County and beyond!” said Dwaine Coley, parade coordinator. “The Grand Marshal for the 74th Annual Alexander County Christmas Parade has tirelessly served our country and our county with honor and distinction. The Parade Committee has selected a theme for this year’s parade of ‘Home Town Heroes’ for our community to celebrate! There are numerous ‘Heroes’ who have helped our County through this pandemic. There are doctors, nurses, health care professionals, and many more! Some of the ‘Heroes’ that may be overlooked are those who have helped keep food on our tables! These include farmers, grocery store employees, butchers, stockers, transporters of the goods and so many more!”

Coy Reese’s love of farming and dairy cows began when his father was given a registered Jersey dairy cow in 1943. And the “rest of the story” has been unfolding ever since then. In 1970, Coy began management of the family’s dairy farm and, until October of 2020, he had been milking, feeding and caring for a large herd of registered Jersey cattle. He and his wife, Wanda, decided last year to sell their herd to a farm in New York, and they watched as the trailers of cattle left for their new home and owners.

Coy’s work has included five decades of farming. He enjoyed being his own boss and developing a herd that he had bred each calf and watched them grow. Life was good – he worked for himself and enjoyed working with nature. A large portion of the herd originated from that first cow that started the farm. The original cow’s genes have been shared with farms in the United States as well as farms in Ecuador, Trinidad, Chile, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Turkey. Coy and Wanda would love to visit some of these farms where this first cow’s genes are living and thriving.
The dairy industry is a seven-day-a-week job. Time-off is almost non-existent. The business (the farm) experiences the ups and downs of business. Milk prices increase and drop and the farm must continue moving forward. Sadly, the dairy industry has seen sharp declines in the past few years.

Our Grand Marshal, Coy Reese is 77 years young and still enjoys maintaining a small herd of cows. He has distinguished himself having served on numerous boards and committees in Alexander County and beyond. He has served as president of the Alexander County Planning and Zoning committee, the Farmland Preservation board, the NC Jersey Breeders Association, the Genex board and the SUDIA board. He is active with the volunteer work of Thrivent Financial. Through the years he has encouraged visits to the farm by the third graders in the county to teach them about farming and where our food comes from.

He has always been an active member of St. Luke Lutheran Church. One of those persons nominating him stated, “… he ALWAYS has time to stop farming to play for a bit with his 2 granddaughters, Isabela, age 8, and Clara, age 6. He is the best PawPaw, and even after a long, hard day at the barn, he will still get in the floor and play with them! His servant heart is what makes him a good representative for this town as the Grand Marshal. He would give you the shirt off of his back, and I think that spirit is why we all love this small town.”

Coy has been married to his wife Wanda 40 years. (They met on a blind date on Valentine’s Day in 1981, had three dates and decided to get married.) They have 2 daughters, Candace and Joy and 2 granddaughters. Candace is married to Adam Haithcox and they have 2 daughters, Isabela and Clara. Joy is married to Clay Barber.

“Congratulations to Coy Reese, the 2021 Grand Marshal of the 74th Annual Alexander County Christmas Parade!” said Coley.

If you are affiliated with a club, a church, a business, etc. and interested in securing a place in the 74th Annual Alexander County Christmas Parade, see the article below.

Last call for Alexander County Christmas Parade entries

The Alexander County Christmas Parade Committee is currently putting the final plans in place for the 74th Annual Christmas Parade, said Dwaine Coley, coordinator of the parade.

The focus of the group has been on selecting a Grand Marshal, securing professional floats, finding regional bands to complete the festive atmosphere and to secure community groups, businesses, churches, etc. to make the event a rousing success, said Coley.

The Alexander County Christmas Parade is scheduled for the first Saturday in December, which is Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 3 p.m. The 2021 version of the Christmas Parade is being sponsored by the Alexander County Government.

“The Parade Committee is devoting its energy to recruiting and securing the groups and agencies to make the event a showcase of the county’s resources, especially its people. Now is the time to reserve a place in the parade line-up. Your response helps to facilitate the smooth flow of the event.

“Interested entrants should contact the parade coordinator NOW. Do not wait. The late fee of $25 began on November 19. There are new forms which have been generated for registration and parade guidelines. Interested persons are encouraged to e-mail parade headquarters at alexanderchristmasparade@gmail.com for additional information and forms. Businesses, manufacturers, and others wishing to purchase a float may do so by contacting Dwaine Coley at 828.320.7614 or e-mailing the above address.

“A total of sixteen floats are currently reserved for this year’s parade – more than in previous years, and response has been great, BUT we still have several floats that need sponsors!”
The Alexander County Extension Office will be receiving all registration forms and payments. The Extension Office is located at 151 West Main Avenue in Taylorsville.

Civic groups, clubs, athletic teams, businesses, and manufacturers are encouraged to begin planning NOW to insure participation in this year’s parade. Space is limited to about two hundred entries for the parade, so your response is encouraged. Now is the time to begin planning to participate in this annual holiday event! Spaces will be reserved only when appropriate forms are complete and all fees paid.

Created in 1947, the Christmas Parade was originally designed to bring potential customers into the business district of Taylorsville and to kick-off the holiday shopping season. The war was over and there were high expectations of a growing economy and a brighter future. The parade has evolved through the years to become one of the region’s largest and most festive events.

The Parade annually showcases local businesses and manufacturers, while emphasizing the community base. Local churches, civic groups, athletic teams and others assemble to march or ride in the annual event. The Christmas Parade is a source of community pride and recognition for those who contribute significantly to the rich quality of life that we enjoy in Alexander County.

This year’s parade will feature individuals and groups that give of themselves to the community on a daily basis! The public is urged, encouraged, asked to come prepared to give to the community through a “give back” component. The conclusion of the parade will provide the community with a chance to GIVE BACK – to shower the food pantries across the County with canned goods and non-perishable items.

“The Alexander Central FFA will collect food along the parade route. This food will be shared with local food pantries. Please bring canned goods to share. Students will also carry boxes for those wishing to make monetary donations,” Coley concluded.

1 Comment

  1. Mike & Ginny Harrison on November 23, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Congratulations Coy and family! We are so happy about this wonderfully deserved recognition of a great community leader and patriotic American. Quiet and unassuming, Coy is exactly the kind of person everyone loves to see acknowledged.

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