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Dec. 13 Christmas Parade to feature AMS pace car, Legends cars

This year’s Pike County Youth Christmas Parade will feature Madeline ‘Mad Maddie’ Crane, a local race car driver who has made a name for herself in racing and earned her NASCAR driver’s license earlier this year. She will be Grand Marshall of the parade which will begin at 3 p.m. and include the Atlanta Motor Speedway pace car driven by Doc. Lee and Legends of AMS cars, as well as nearly 50 other entries. Festivities before and after the parade will include live musical entertainment, inflatables, pony rides, hot chocolate and a total of 25 vendors starting at 2 p.m. on the courthouse square. United Bank will host a raffle for a $250 Toys ‘˜R’ Us gift card and participants will get a raffle ticket for each new, unwrapped toy they give. The toys will be accepted starting at 2 p.m. on the square and ending at 4 p.m. The raffle drawing will take place on the stage at 4:45 p.m. and the winner must be present with the winning raffle ticket. The toys collected will be distributed to local children in need. Santa will ride in the parade and then visit the courthouse to hear Christmas wishes from children of all ages. Seating will be provided at the courthouse square during the festivities and parade. This year’s Grand Marshall participated in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing which only selected 23 young female and minority drivers to compete for three days for one out of six seats on their team. There are three parts of the competition, fitness, media and on track performance. It typically takes a few months to hear the results. ’I’m very excited and honored about being chosen to be the Grand Marshal. I love Christmas so I’m very excited to be a part of it,’ she said. ‘I’m excited for everyone to get to see a little bit of what I do. It makes me think back to when I was little and how much I loved looking at race cars and dreaming about racing, so I hope it will be fun for all the kids.’ Mad Maddie is an 18-year-old Meansville native who started racing Bandoleros in the Thursday Night Series at AMS when she was just 10 years old, and after a slow start that season, she finished strong with two consecutive wins. She quickly moved to Legend cars, and by the time she was 14, she already had 59 top-five finishes in just 82 starts, as well as becoming Pro Division Winter Flurry Champion. Maddie was recently racing in a Super Late Model class that gave her the opportunity to race closer to home against some of the top names in dirt racing and gain valuable race experience. Mad Maddie is currently making the transition back to asphalt racing and in her first race in August at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Class, she took fifth place. ’Last year we were honored to host Hunter Strickland of the San Francisco Giants as our Grand Marshal for the parade, and this year we have the pleasure of featuring a young lady from Pike County who has definitely made a name for herself,’ said Hanson. ‘We are excited to have Madeline ‘Mad Maddie’ Crane join us this year to showcase her accomplishments and achievements in the racing industry.’

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