CARTHAGE, N.C. (WTVD) -- From spending the first half of the week in darkness, to kicking off Saturday with bright lights and spreading Christmas cheer, the Carthage Christmas parade was "much needed," for Moore County residents.
"We used to have it on Tuesday nights," Carthage Mayor Jimmy Chalfinch said. "We wouldn't have been able to have it this past Tuesday because all the power had been out, but we are so glad and so excited."
The bright experience of the nighttime parade at 6:30 p.m. lit up downtown and the spirits of hundreds of people who gathered to watch floats and catch free candy with power fully restored as of Wednesday.
"I feel lucky," Dora Lopez said. "I feel lucky and blessed because you don't realize how much you need it, until you lose it and then you're like oh yeah, we need it a lot. Just to be together having the power back on is awesome."
The Town of Carthage kicked off the festivities with a performance from the Union Pines High School Orchestra before the Christmas tree was lit and candles turned on at every window at the Moore County Courthouse.
Instead of focusing on who's responsible for the attack on the substations on Dec. 3, Karen Olsen chose to focus on family instead.
"We don't want to think about bad things," Olsen said. "They do happen, yes, but they happen so often lately that it makes you very sad, so I'm happy to be with my family, that they're okay, that we have power and we're going to be at this beautiful parade tonight and have some hot chocolate."
For Mayor Chalfinch, the parade is another example of the community coming together.
"We are Moore County strong," Chalfinch said. "I'm just tickled to death. The community came together. You wouldn't believe the other people that came down there and fed people when the power's out and everything. It was something to see, brought tears to my eyes."
The push for tips in the Moore County power gird attack continues with a reward of up to $75,000 for information leading to an arrest.