COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - The City of Columbia's 2015 Christmas parade got a face lift.
Carlton Thornhill took over as parade chairman this year, and knew he wanted to revamp Columbia's holiday tradition.
"I'm sort of known for change," Thornhill said. "So I changed everything about it."
Thornhill said he moved the parade downtown and added food and music to make the day a bigger event.
"We have a different route. We use downtown," he said. "I made a festival out of it. We've had performers since 11 this morning, food vendors. You can eat, sit and visit."
Thornhill said Saturday's festival was even more successful than he anticipated.
"The stores have been full full all day long today," he said. "We never have had that. And I was hoping for 3,000 people, but it seems like we're closer to 5,000 from what I hear from the estimates coming from the other end. For Columbia, Mississippi, (that) is enormous. We've never had this. We've never had it. It's insane to me because you never know if it's going to work or not going to work. And this worked. It's beautiful. The talent has been incredible. Who shouldn't have come?"