By Ashley Rader
A trip through downtown in the annual Christmas parade is leading to a trip down the aisle for a Carter County couple.
Seth Babb, 26, proposed to his girlfriend, Morgan Jenkins, 24, during the annual Elizabethton Christmas parade last weekend while riding on the float for his business, Broad Street Barber Shop.
The couple had known each other for almost a decade and had been dating for a year when Babb decided it was time to pop the question.
“I had been thinking about how to go about it, not really talking to the future Mrs.,” Babb said. “I was not sure if that is something you want to be a surprise or not. I didn’t know if that was something you go public. Some people do and broadcast it to other people. So I had to think what would she want. So being spur-of-the-moment, and I had been planning to be in the Christmas parade for months, I figured to just do it.”
He enlisted the help of family members to pull off the surprise for Jenkins.
And she said the secrecy worked: She was completely surprised by the parade proposal.
“The whole family knew about it, even my parents, and they never let on that they knew,” she said. “I am usually really good at picking up on things. I had no clue.”
However, the surprise proposal almost didn’t happen; Jenkins came down with a stomach virus the day of the parade. She said she felt so sick she was not sure if she would get to ride in the parade.
“We put the float together, it was freezing and I didn’t feel good,” she said. “I said ‘I might just stand with your family and watch.’ He said he wanted me to ride, but I wanted to walk and hand out candy. He talked me into riding on the float. It was funny because it all worked out. I started feeling better.”
Babb said he was afraid he was going to ruin the surprise by dropping too many hints during the day leading up to the parade. He said he kept telling Jenkins that she needed to be close to him on the float when the parade got started.
“I was hinting real hard and I thought ‘Oh no she will catch on’,” he said.
Jenkins said their family was worried that the surprise proposal wouldn’t happen because of her sudden illness.
But the parade – and the proposal plan – went ahead as planned.
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