Escambia County joins inauguration festivities
By By Adam Prestridge
Escambia County was well represented during the governor's inauguration parade that snaked its way through downtown Montgomery Monday.
The Governor's Office contacted every county throughout the state earlier this month and asked that each participate in the inaugural parade. The Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce was contacted to help organize Escambia County's participation. The Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce was later contacted by the Brewton Chamber and agreed to team up with them and enter the parade.
Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Emilie Mims, along with Chamber president Nancy Helton, road aboard Escambia County's float during the parade. Several Chamber Ambassadors, Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Chairman Buford Rolin and the junior and senior Indian Princesses joined Mims and Helton on the float. The float, which was rented from a float builder in Georgia, featured a train engine theme.
"The train theme was chosen because all three towns in the county were founded along the railroad in the 1860s," Mims said.
According to Mims, the cities of Atmore, Brewton and Flomaton all chipped in and split the cost of the float rental. She said the experience was memorable.
"It was a neat experience," Mims said. "The wait for the parade to begin was very long – much longer than expected. I believe the overall experience for the Chamber Ambassadors and the princesses was very much something they will remember for the rest of their lives. It was impressive."
Mims said the number of marching bands that participated in the parade impressed everyone that participated from Escambia County. She said a spokesperson with the Governor's Office told her 6,000 students marched during the event.
"The staging area for the floats overlooked a tremendous parking lot that held all of the participating bands, both college and high school, and as we waited for four hours we got to hear many of the bands perform," Mims said.
Mims said Governor Bob Riley, who began his second term in office Monday, gave the Escambia County bunch a "big thumbs up" when the county's float passed by his viewing box.
"The Escambia County float was, I believe, the most impressive county float in the parade. I think the governor will definitely remember Escambia Count's participation in his inaugural parade."