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Waving as Christmas Passes By
By: Maria King
Date: December 1, 2013
There is no shortage of holiday event choices for families this time of year. You can participate in Breakfasts with Santa and workshops to build gingerbread houses and watch the lights of the local illuminated homes, etc. It is rare however that any of those experiences can top the first sighting of Santa each year. That is where the parades have a very distinct advantage. If you have any memories of these as a child you know what it is I am talking about here.
Few things excite a small child as much as the anticipation of the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve. One of those things is seeing Santa and waving to him in the annual Christmas parade. The cycle of these joyous events begins a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the ends about 10 days before Christmas. Throughout the U.S. there are 1000’s of big city and small town Christmas parades. Multiply that by the number children at each and you see what an impact these parades have on the young. The scenes from Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story are about as realistic as you are going to get when they show the reactions of the children to the parade. I am sure I do not have to tell any of you about what a “smartphone” moment it is as a parent. (when my kids were small it was called a Kodak moment but I would imagine it is no longer referred to as that.)
The parades are not “one size fits all” however. They can be lighted floats or they can literally float as in boat parades. They can be children’s parades, or pet parades or they can be trucks on parade. Whatever the locale sees fit to theme Christmas parades take on all shapes and sizes. Typically 99.9% of Christmas parades feature Santa. (I won’t say unequivocally that they all feature Santa because I am pretty sure some of the quirkier ones might go for quirky over tradition.) And Santa is the key ingredient to launch a small child into a frenzy that is pure delight.
I can assure you that there is a local Christmas parade welcoming Santa near you. The good thing is that with the time span and the scheduling by municipalities, you can most likely attend a Christmas parade near you each weekend through December 15 this year. I invite you all to make it a real family outing. Bundle up the kids, get Grandma and Grandpa and old Uncle Bert, throw a few lawn chairs, blankets and seat warmers into the car as well and head to a traditional holiday parade near you. It might be just the thing to find the kid in all of us one more time.
Dec 07, 2013
Since 1997. The Winter Walk-A-Thon is from 12pm – 2pm. Walk with local non-profit groups for cash prizes. Then it’s Let It Snow! With tons of snow, a petting zoo, Santa, games, bounce house and rock wall for the kids. There will also be a car show and vendor booths for the whole family. And finally, don’t miss the Holiday Light Parade at 7pm. To be a part of the Light parade itself pre-registration is required for yourself or group. Parade route will be on Apache Trail between Phelps Drive and Thunderbird.
Dec 05, 2013
Since 1982, this unusual, evening lighted parade, voted #1 Holiday Event in the state by Main Street Iowa, entertains thousands as it winds through beautifully decorated Oskaloosa. Pre-parade events begin around the square and at the bandstand at 5:30 pm. Parade starts at 7 pm. Held rain or shine.
Dec 07, 2013
Since 1988, parade with floats and marching units. The Lights of December Parade is a wonderful hometown event. The parade will wind around downtown Boulder and involve a wide cross section of the Boulder County Community with high school marching bands, hundreds of girl scouts, church floats, non-profit and civic organizations, and business entries.
Dec 07, 2013
Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club presents this holiday tradition. In addition to floats decorated and lighted for the holidays, spectators can expect to see marching bands, decorated cars, equestrians and more. Hosted by the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis, the Clovis Children’s Christmas Parade has been a favorite of the community for many years. Over 2000 kids, adults, animals and floats, all decorated with lights participate in this unique and festive holiday tradition. Prizes are awarded and Santa himself make an appearance.
Dec 06, 2013 - Dec 07, 2013
Since 1974, the Parade of Lights continues to reign as the signature event of the Downtown Denver holiday season. The countless sparkling lights, majestic floats and delightful characters will once again wow hundreds of thousands of onlookers when this popular family tradition takes to the streets. Seating along the parade route is free, and Grandstand tickets will also be available.
Dec 07, 2013
Since 1992, The parade was the vision of a small group of community minded individuals who believed it important to offer the community an event that would allow all people to enjoy and participate in the joyous and fun holiday season. Many of those individuals are still involved with the parade's production. The parade gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate the winter holiday season. There is something for everyone in this parade.
Dec 07, 2013
Since 2000, Tifton is planning its Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration. This year’s festival promises to create family- friendly fun filled memories and a day of sights, sounds, free carnival rides, food, entertainment and shopping for everyone. We have something special for children and adults of all ages. Attendees will step into the holiday season by joining the parade route to welcome Santa.