For years, Barb and Joe Whiteman entertained those attending the Havelock Christmas Parade as clowns. Now, they’ll be the ones being entertained, from the front of the parade.
Barb and Joe Whiteman, longtime Havelock residents, business owners and civic contributors, will serve as grand marshals when the parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday down East Main Street.
“I might just do my clown makeup,” Whiteman said of being grand marshal of a parade she has enjoyed so much.
“Ever since the 1990s when we were doing the clowns, we’d been in it,” she said. “I always pushed the dogs in the cart, and I was always the last one in because everybody wanted to pet the dogs. It was really super. We loved it.”
The couple owned Whiteman’s Engraving for decades before selling the business and retiring. But beyond being business owners, they were active in the community, from supporting the military through the Havelock Chamber of Commerce and its Military Affairs Committee, to starting their own animal rescue organization, and being involved at their church.
Despite their contributions to the town, they said their selection as grand marshals was unexpected.
“We were just so surprised,” Joe Whiteman said. “We never expected it.”
The couple has been a part of the community since the 1960s.
“We’ve been here for so long, Havelock is like a big family,” Barb Whiteman said. “You get out with people, and the longer you’ve been here the more people you know, and it’s just great. I love it. You can’t go any place without running into somebody you know.”
They thanked the entire city for their selection as grand marshals.
“We love this town, and there can’t be anything better,” Barb Whiteman said. “That they picked us is really amazing. We’re very grateful.”
The parade route begins at the Cherry Plaza Shopping Center on the east end of Havelock and continues up East Main Street to Havelock City Hall. It will feature the Havelock High marching band, floats created by area organizations, various civic, nonprofit and church groups, fire department trucks and Santa Claus.
The Havelock High state football championship football team is also scheduled to be part of the event.
During the parade, both eastbound and westbound lanes of the street will be blocked. The detour route will take vehicles along McCotter and Fontana boulevards.
For more information on the parade, contact Patrick Williams at the Havelock Recreation Department at 444-6429.