Teacher sashed as Christmas parade grand marshal

Teacher sashed as Christmas parade grand marshal

Smithfield High School science teacher Elizabeth Russillo, center, was surprised last Friday with the Christmas Parade Grand Marshal sash by the All Lit Up Christmas Parade Committee and Mrs. Claus. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – The holiday season is off to a start with the sashing of the Smithfield All Lit Up Christmas Parade’s 2018 grand marshal, Smithfield High School science teacher Elizabeth Russillo.

Mrs. Claus joined the All Lit Up Parade Committee members in surprising the Outstanding Teacher of the Year recipient last Friday, Nov. 2, one month before the third annual holiday parade.

Riding in a traditional parade convertible, Russillo and her family will lead the route on Dec. 1, leaving Smithfield High School at 4 p.m.

Russillo said this will be her first year attending the parade and festivities, and she is looking forward to it.

Parade Committee member and Smithfield High School Principal Dan Kelley said Russillo was selected to marshal the parade for her “superstar,” qualities.

Retiring Rep. Thomas Winfield said while Santa Claus was too busy making toys to attend the sashing, he will be in the parade and participating in the evening’s celebrations.

The route will end at the Anderson Winfield Funeral Home, 2 Church St. in Greenville, the “Town Green,” for the tree lighting.

One lucky youth will win the role as “Illuminator,” flipping the switch to turn on the Christmas tree’s lights following the parade. According to committee member Kate McAdam-Prickett, youths ages 8-12 are asked to submit an essay about “what the holidays mean to me,” and the winner gets to light the tree.

More information is available on the All Lit Up Facebook page, but the deadline is set for the Nov. 17 Snowball Drop Raffle. Some 500 numbered golf balls will drop from the top of a fire truck ladder, with the “snowballs” landing closest to the target winning one of three top money prizes.

A $5 raffle ticket, available at Town Hall, the Greenville Library, and other town locations, will buy someone one snowball with proceeds going to the parade.

Winfield said he approached the committee years ago and said he wanted Smithfield to have a Christmas parade. In its third year, he said the parade is getting “bigger and better,” and expects more than 1,000 people to attend.

“We have fun doing it so hopefully people in town can enjoy it,” Winfield said.

Homemade floats crafted by residents, local Scouts, and local businesses will fall in line with the Rhode Island Antique Fire Truck Association, the Worcester Sound and Light Truck, and other special guests.

Those who attend will enjoy refreshments, live music from the Funky Dawg Band, pictures with Santa, and the “almost life-sized” Fontanini manger.