Knoxville Christmas Parade 2011: Vehicles with Lights and Cute Children

Old Fire Truck in the Christmas Parade, Knoxville, 2011

Readers of this blog know from last year that I’m not able to restrict myself to a single blog about the biggest parade of the year. Last year I couldn’t help but break it into three parts: The Orthodox Christmas Parade, The Unorthodox Christmas Parade and The Most Bizarre Floats in the Knoxville Christmas Parade. I suspect I may have as much trouble narrowing it down this year. Some of the worst floats were back. Some that I hated last year seemed to have improved this year – or maybe I’ve lowered my standards.

VW Van with two strings of lights, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011


VW Bugs with lights, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

Pretty, Patriotic Dump truck with a string of lights, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

In this post I’ll rag on vehicles with lights and floats with cute children. I realize a string of Christmas lights changes everything, but does any vehicle with a string of lights qualify for the parade? Shouldn’t there be some sort of standard? At least the city seems to make the various car groups take turns. This year we had Volkswagens, but no Cameros or Thunderbirds. We didn’t even have the Kerbella guys in their little vehicles. I do appreciate that.

Salvation Army vehicle with a wreath, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011


It’s a Boat! With Children and Lights! Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

Cool Old Car with lights and tensile, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

Of course, there were plenty of random vehicles including boats and garbage trucks. Some of them seemed to have put in more effort than some others at making the vehicles festive. Some of the others, I’m not so sure. I mean, one of my break lights on my Prius works pretty well, do I qualify?

Cute Children on a (barely) decorated trailer, Knoxville Christmas Parade 2011


Children on a trailer with an advertising banner, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

The other thing I noticed were a number of floats that would not pass muster in any sort of way, except they had a load of cute kids aboard. I like cute kids, really I do, but is that all it takes to have a float (or car or trailer) in the parade?

Beauty Queens (or Princesses), Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

There were also approximately a thousand that combined the two themes from this post and had pretty cars with pretty little or young girls. I lost count of the “Miss Something or Another” cars. Some contained pretty young women and some contained girls so young and so made-up they could be contestants for Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s just a little unsettling to me, without even getting into the whole beauty industry issue. 

Motorcycles with lights, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

Car with lights – AND a Wind-up Key!, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011

There were, of course, some great floats and I’ll try to highlight some of the ones I caught with my camera. I did learn a couple of things in this year’s parade: I learned that a Christmas Parade is more fun in the company of an actual child. Urban Toddler has bronchitis and had to miss the parade which put a pretty serious cap on the fun for me. I also learned (unfortunately) is that a dark background (think the western side of Gay Street) is better for photographs than a bright background (think the eastern side of Gay Street). Since I learned this lesson during the parade, unfortunately, most of my pictures this year are terrible. Sorry about that.

Next Stop: Top Ten Christmas Floats in the 2011 Knoxville Christmas Parade!

A Jeep with Lights, Knoxville Christmas Parade, 2011


A Garbage Truck with lighted reindeer, Knoxville Christmas Parade