Former NFL player to lead Christmas parade
Published 8:58 am Friday, December 7, 2012
Bright seasonal lights will illuminate Shotwell Street on Thursday, Dec. 13, when Bainbridge’s Christmas parade rolls along bringing a long line of festive, brightly lit floats, smiling faces, music and a special appearance by Santa Claus.
The parade, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Shotwell Street and Wheat Avenue, will proceed west on Shotwell Street before turning right on Broad Street and then left on Water Street. After turning right again on West Street, it will end at River Plaza Shopping Center.
The pride of Decatur County, the Bainbridge High School Marching Band, will entertain people as they watch the festivities.
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Former University of Georgia and Pittsburgh Steelers placekicker Bobby Walden will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. Along with the band, local pageant winners, businesses and a range of civic groups will participate in the parade.
About Bobby Walden
Bainbridge resident Bobby Walden was a Cairo High School All-State halfback and an All-SEC punter with the Georgia Bulldogs, where he was nicknamed “The Big Toe From Cairo.” He is a member of the Georgia and Grady County Sports Halls of Fame.
Walden is married to the former Scarlett Bates of Bainbridge and his son, Bobby Walden Jr., quarterbacked coach Ralph Jones’ Bainbridge High School Bearcats to the 1982 State Class AAA football championship.
Walden punted for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1968 to 1997 and was on the Steelers’ 1974 and 1975 Super Bowl championship teams. In 2007, he was named to the Steelers 75th anniversary team.
In 2009 the portion of U.S. Highway 84 in Decatur County, from the Grady County line west to the traffic light on Whigham Dairy Road, was dedicated as the Bobby Walden Highway, under a resolution passed by the Georgia General Assembly and introduced by State Rep. Gene Maddox of Cairo.