WAYNE COUNTY — For the small Wayne County town of Seven Springs ravaged by Hurricane Floyd, Saturday's Christmas parade pushed memories of the storm to the side at least for a day.
For the first time since the storm, Mayor Jewel Kilpatrick and the people of Seven Springs are taking time to sit down, take a breath and think about something else.
"We have to have hope because everyone has been destroyed by the water," Kilpatrick said. "They need something to look forward to, and this has been the thing to look forward to."
She's right. The parade has more floats than ever including the town employees' flatbottom boat. In addition, for the first time, the town has a Flood Princess.
Chief Douglas Casey of the Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department says he hopes the people continue to come back.
"We have more entries than we have been having," Casey said. "We also have entries we have never had before, and we are tickled to death to have them down here." We hope they come back."
Hundreds of onlookers including James and Dixie Smith don't even live in Seven Springs, but they did not want to miss the parade.
"Well, we knew the town had been underwater and had not got back in shape," James said. "We just wanted to see what they were doing to it."
The parade traveled over the river that swallowed the town, and engrained Hurricane Floyd into Seven Springs history.