EUTAW, Ala. (WIAT) – The show must go on. After a tornado tore through Eutaw Tuesday night, city leaders decided to host the annual Christmas Parade. This year’s celebration lit the city up with hope.

“When you lose everything, you got in the blink of an eye, your mind is not focused on joy,” Eutaw Mayor Latasha Johnson said. “I said we’re going to go forward with this parade. This parade will bring some type of unity back, closure back and some type of joy to the families that lost their homes.”

Thursday’s parade, serving out smiles to all – a distraction from what happened 48 hours earlier.

“It was disastrous to see some parts of the city tore up, but seeing the parade made it feel different,” Eutaw resident Jessin Lyons said. “I love it. This is my hometown, so I love it.”

Eutaw resident Suzette Powell said the parade was four times its usual size this year.

“To see people coming out, regardless of what happened, God is still good,” Powell said. “To have the unity of the people, it made me feel good. I cried to see so many people.”

The parade patched up several pierced hearts, as Johnson said this is the largest parade the city has ever had.

“We just grateful no fatalities, no death,” Johnson said. “We just going to be enjoying the day and not thinking about that at the moment.”

You can contribute to families in need through the city by clicking this link.