A lot of people think Thanksgiving doesn't get the respect it deserves. I think that's true, but some of the best things about Thanksgiving spill over into Christmas, and I think a lot about thankfulness in regard to the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade's grand marshals this year: Whit and Dot Moose.
The Mount Pleasant Christmas celebration is one of my favorite annual events; this year it's on Saturday. It begins with a parade at 11 a.m., which proceeds from the middle school south on Main Street to Franklin Street.
Along with the floats, veterans, clowns and animals, the Mount Pleasant High School Marching Band, which has just finished its best season ever in band competition, will perform. They were named grand champions in three of the four competitions they entered. Give them a cheer when they pass, and if you enjoy hearing them, attend their concert at the school Dec. 17, which will also include the Mount Pleasant Middle School band.
As usual, the grand marshals deserve a big cheer. Mayor Troy Barnhardt calls Whit and Dot Moose "pillars of the community." Whit Moose is a third-generation pharmacist and descendant of the founder of Moose Pharmacy. Born and raised in Mount Pleasant, he had opportunities to leave and pursue other interests, but he's always stayed and served.
He told me he considered other careers. Forestry and research chemistry appealed to him, but he pictured himself isolated in those careers, and he likes to be around people. So he chose pharmacy and a store at the heart of the community he's known all his life.
He also spent 16 years on the town council and has been president of the Jaycees and Lions Club. He was on the state pharmacy board for 23 years and was president of both the state and national associations of pharmacists.
Retired three years ago, he is active at his church and sings in the choir. His two sons, both pharmacists, have supplied him with his own basketball team - five grandsons, all of whom live locally.
Dot Moose is still working at the pharmacy, responsible for "Dot's Gift Corner." The two met in the eighth grade. They've raised their children here, served in many ways and become well-respected members of the community.
After the parade, stop by the Mount Pleasant Fire Department for a visit with Santa. And don't forget to visit the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society Museum's open house and bake sale. The day will end with the annual tree lighting at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday will be a wonderful day to enjoy Christmas and community. Be thankful for the place we live and the people we know as we celebrate the holidays together.