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Sheffield set to lead Christmas parade
1202 Evalina Sheffield gm guytonparade
Evalina Sheffield is the oldest resident in Guyton at 102, turning 103 Jan. 5. She will serve as grand marshal for the Guyton Christmas parade Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. - photo by Photo by Calli Arnold

The city of Guyton will honor its oldest citizen Saturday morning at its ninth annual Christmas Parade.

Evalina Sheffield, 102, will serve as the grand marshal for the Guyton Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival and Parade. She will be 103 Jan. 5.

“No, I didn’t think (I would live to 103). It’s all in the hands of the good Lord how old I get,” Sheffield said.

City clerk Debra Scruggs said that Sheffield was an easy choice for grand marshal.

“She has always been special,” Scruggs said.

Sheffield grew up off Louisville Road and would walk two miles to schools through a path in the woods. She was born Evalina Hall and worked in the fields picking cotton, peas, tobacco and tending to other vegetables with her family.

“I like Guyton, because it’s the only place I’ve ever known,” Sheffield said.

She and her husband, Robert, raised 11 children. She was 12 years old when she joined Macedonia Baptist Church. Her son George remembered that they always had fresh vegetables. And Sheffield said that her husband raised hogs and she would cook meat from the hogs for a good meal.

“We always had a garden, always had hogs and chickens,” said George.

Her granddaughter Patty Griffin remembers how Sheffield would remember step by step instructions for different family recipes, such has making fruitcake. She said that Sheffield helped raise her, her children and her sister Judie’s children, along with other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And Griffin and George said they remember her being strict.

“She was just trying to raise us right and we thank God for her for that, for the knowledge and everything she gave us,” Griffin said.

George and Griffin remember always getting fruit for Christmas and George said that even though his parents didn’t have a lot of money when they were growing up, they always got what they wanted.

“We didn’t have a lot of money, but we always all seemed to get what we wanted somehow. I don’t know how they did,” said George.

Said Sheffield: “We gave them what we could, did what we could do.”

Sheffield said that she remembered as a girl for Christmas, they would make a chain-like garland out of newspaper to decorate the house.

“We’d go out and get flowers out the woods and dress the house and string up paper all around the wall and made it look good,” said Sheffield.

Scruggs said that they expect 40 different craft booths at the festival and to be on the lookout for the city of Guyton’s very special float to chug along through Guyton. She also said they expect a good crowd to come out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Guyton’s annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival and Parade will be held Dec. 3 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Guyton Women’s Clubhouse, 112 Lynn Bonds Ave., with the parade beginning at 11 a.m.