McDonough sisters (left to right) Allie Sims, 2; Ava Sims; and twins Emma Sims and Ella Sims, age 6, showed off their newly-painted nails during a July 9 Princess Parade in the city. The girls are the daughters of Blake and Joy Sims.
By Jason A. Smith
Almost every young girl likes the idea of being a princess. Dozens of them in Henry County got that chance recently, at an inaugural Princess Parade.
"Many merchants in McDonough got behind the idea, and gave treats to the girls after the parade," said Barbara Frazier, who coordinated the event for the Main Street McDonough Program. "I knew it would be popular, but was surprised at how well it was attended. There were princesses of every description. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, one and all.
"I thought it was a wonderful way of supporting our downtown businesses as well as creating quality of life opportunities for our citizens," Frazier continued. "Little girls love to dress up as princesses, and little boys love to be heroes. We had them both during this event."
The parade, which consisted of walking the route, instead of being seated on the hoods of cars, took the girls down Keys Ferry Street, to the McDonough Square, according to the city's Media Relations Specialist, Casey Case. Participants lined the streets of the city to have their nails painted, and wear tiaras and feather scarves for the free event.
Altogether, more than 150 young people got the chance to feel like royalty, if only for a day, during the July 9 event.
Each princess was introduced on stage by McDonough Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Vincent, and each got to pick a nail polish color from the Mary Kay representatives in the Square and have their nails done, said Case.
Kayla Browning, of Stockbridge, brought her granddaughters, twin seven-year-olds, Savannah and Sydney, to take part in the parade. Browning said the girls had a good time.
"It was very successful as far as the turnout," said Browning. "It brought people together. The girls just loved it because they could dress up. I just think it's a lot of fun. It was good that it wasn't any longer than it was, because of the heat."
Case said Frazier did an "outstanding job" in putting the parade together.
"It will only grow, if this is any indication of the interest," Case said.
Frazier said the concept for the parade resulted from a recent " Ladies Night Out" event she attended. It is sponsored every second Thursday of the month by The Main Street McDonough Program and the McDonough Square Merchants.
"I observed a beautiful four-year-old who attended that event with her mother wearing a tiara, tutu and boa," Frazier said. "I took the idea to talk to [Main Street McDonough Program Director] Linda Schenk, who immediately supported the idea.
Frazier said local businesses quickly offered support. One business which backed the event immediately was the Bell, Book & Candle bookstore.
"They have a castle in the building, and all the girls were invited to go in and have their photos made before the parade," said Frazier. "There was a line out of the store, that ran all the way to the Moye's [Pharmacy] parking lot."
Other businesses in the area which provided their services for the event were Blumen Trio, Secret Garden, and Mary Kay.
"The kids and parents had fun, and the merchants gained customers," said a buoyant Councilwoman Vincent.
Frazier said she hopes to put together another princess parade in a cooler month of the year.