It has long been a tradition in Pittsylvania County for the Sheriff and Sheriff’s Office vehicles to appear in the three county Christmas parades held in Chatham, Danville and Gretna. This year however, we broke from that tradition a bit by doing something a little more than just making an appearance. Our office designed and built the first ever Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office Christmas float.
With other activities such as our Halloween Trunk or Treat, the additional commitments and chores that go along with the holiday season and of course our law enforcement and corrections duties, time for working on the float was going to be in short supply. So we decided rather than trying to go with the sparkling and extravagant, we’d stick with something simple and homey. Our theme was Clement Moore’s classic poem “T’was the Night Before Christmas“. We decorated the float as a Victorian era parlor with a hearth, Christmas tree, easy chairs and old fashioned toys. We invited the children of the Sheriff’s Office employees to gather around the Sheriff as he was seated in his easy chair in our parlor and listen to him read the poem as we road through the parade routes. Even though the Sheriff was using a PA system, at times the exuberance of the children waving and calling Merry Christmas to the onlookers along the routes made reading impossible, but nobody seemed to mind. At times we had the children sing a few carols and with their excitement even the unusually chilly temperatures for this area didn’t prevent us all from having wonderful time.
To our surprise, what we considered a relatively humble float as compared to some of the other entries in the parades earned us a third place $35 award in one parade and a fifth place trophy and $100 award in another. Sheriff Taylor will donate the award money to a local charity that has yet to be determined.
The float wasn’t our only entry in the parades though. This year we changed the color and decal design of our vehicles so many also got their first up-close look at one each of our newly marked patrol cars and SUVs. We also introduced to the county our newly acquired Mobile Command Center consisting of a 50 foot trailer pulled by a new truck that was purchased with drug asset forfeiture funds.