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Reception planned for ChillyFest honorees

City and community leaders in Linden plan to hold a reception Friday to welcome state treasurer Kay Ivey to town. She will be the grand marshal of this year’s Parade of Lights.The reception will be held at Linden’s First Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

“The theme of the Christmas parade this year is ‘Christmas Hometown Treasures,’ so it seemed fitting to invite our state treasurer,” said Linden mayor Mitzi Gates. “It’s an honor to have her as our grand marshal. She’s such a positive influence for our state.”

A Camden native, Ivey was first elected as Alabama’s state treasurer in 2002, Ivey is in the middle of her second term in office.

Also being honored Friday will be two local “Hometown treasures,” Cass Lewis Witherspoon and Brady Creel.

Witherspoon has been the groundskeeper at the Marengo County Courthouse in Linden since 1979. Over the years, he has become a fixture in Linden.

“He is known and loved by everyone at the courthouse,” Gates said. “Perhaps the most amazing, and certainly most endearing, characteristic Cass possesses is his eternal smile, that emulates from his particularly positive and charming personality.

“Anyone who greets Cass on the street with ‘How’s it going, Cass?’ will immediately get a gleaming and knowing smile followed by a ‘So far, so good; so good so far!’”

Creel is the longest serving firefighter in the state, serving Linden for 54 years. In addition to being a volunteer firefighter, Creel served Linden as fire chief from 1968 to 1986. During that time, he was also a police officer and chief of police/director of public safety.