Knoxville Christmas Parade: The Top Five Most Unorthodox Floats

So, here we are: the final Christmas Parade post. I’ve had so much fun I hate to see it end. If you haven’t read the last two posts, I suggest strongly that you drop two below this one and read them in order. If that is too much to ask, then the best way I can bring you up to date is to say that this is a list of the five most unorthodox – and quite possibly just old fashioned inappropriate – floats in a parade that managed to put the In in Inappropriate. So here goes:
Shoney’s Float in the Knoxville Christmas Parade

Number 5: The Shoney’s Bear – This is actually my second Christmas encounter with the Shoney’s Bear this season. The first was at the Fantasy of Trees where children could get their picture made with the Shoney’s Bear. I’m not opposed to Shoney’s in principal. Sometime in the last ten or fifteen years I may have eaten at one. Christmas however, it is not. No amount of hiding behind angels could salvage this pathetic display.

Elvis in the Knoxville Christmas Parade

Number 4: Elvis. I love Elvis. He was my second musical hero (after Hank Williams and before the musical hero to end them all: Bob Dylan, but I digress). I loved his music. I thought he was cool and I still do. I even watched his movies. He does have a Christmas tie-in and that would be his Christmas recordings, but I didn’t hear those at the parade. Elvis is cool, Elvis is King, Elvis is not appropriate for a Christmas parade.

Breast Cancer Float in the Knoxville Christmas Parade

Number 3: Breast Cancer Float –  Let me be direct and honest: I do not approve of breast cancer. It is bad. I’m glad people raise money and awareness about it. Still, there are problems here. First, if we want floats for causes of death, then we need a heart disease float. It kills more people – both men and women – than cancer. As for the subset of women and cancer, breast cancer is not even the number one cancer killer – that would be lung cancer. Maybe we need a lung cancer float. Now, lest you think I’m misogynist, let me assure you I am not. I made my contribution to the cause earlier this fall. For now, I’m just saying a float devoted to any kind of cancer (think prostate – no don’t!) just isn’t the right pitch for a Christmas celebration.

Noah’s Ark in the Knoxville Christmas Parade

Number 2: Noah’s Ark – Listen, it’s hard enough on kids in the Christmas season. We tell them it is about Jesus and we pound home the Santa theme for two months. We tell them it is about giving and we pump them into a frenzy of greed by the time the big day arrives. Give the children a break! Please do not insert the ark into the Christmas story! And how disturbing is it that children are inserted into the boat in the place of the animals? What does that say? And please don’t tell me that is a manger scene on the top.

How could that not be number one, you ask? What could possibly be more unbelievable in a Christmas Parade than an ark? I’m glad you asked.

Wraslin’ in the Knoxville Christmas Parade

Number 1: Wraslin’ for Jesus/ Body Slammin’ for Santa – I think Jesus might cry. I think Santa might rip off his fake beard and stomp off into the night in disgust. Is this what we’ve come to? Can there be anything more antithetical to a Holy Night? Do we need to go out of our way to remove any last doubt that we are the reddest of the redneck cities in the country? We’re trying to build an urban image and we have this? Oh Knoxville, I weep for thee.

Merry Christmas Everybody.