Knoxville Christmas Parade 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Today’s post will be dominated by photographs, but I’ll give you a few reactions to add to the mix. This was a bit of an odd experience for our family this year. First, the protest that started on Market Square and eventually mixed with the parade-goers drew my attention just before the parade and caused us to be late finding a spot close enough to the street that Urban Girl could see the action.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

The spot we chose contributed to my biggest photographic fail in quite some time. We chose a spot with awful, harsh, yellow lighting. We couldn’t get close enough to the street for clean shots, but I didn’t have a vantage where I could photograph them from far enough back (could have used a wide-angle lens) that I could get the whole float. Next, we made sure that the back-drop included a construction chute, which always adds to the quality. Finally, I arrived with a battery which wasn’t charged enough to get to the end of the parade – so if you missed the parade, you won’t be seeing Santa here!

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Ah well, we caught the Grand Marshall, Katie Armiger. I’m sure you all know that she’s a contemporary country singer, but she’d not hit my radar before. We immediately delved into non-Christmas/Winter/Holiday material with Darth Vadar and some sort of white warriors that I was assured are related somehow. I really need to catch up on popular culture before my next parade. Still, they were cool.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

It seemed to me there were more high school bands this year and I think that’s great. Bands are one of my favorite parts of a parade and the more the better as far as I’m concerned. Particularly, there’s nothing like a good drum corp and we had several. It’s odd to me that UT doesn’t send a band contingent to the parade. And the cheerleaders and coaches, for that matter. Isn’t it odd that the University has little-to-nothing to do with the Knoxville Christmas Parade? Why not Smokey, if nothing else?

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Even though my blurry pictures don’t necessarily show it, I think the floats were – on average – a bit better this year. Several groups showed good effort. They didn’t necessarily pretend to be about Christmas, but they reflected a lot of work. For the rest of you guys, come on, up your game. Sitting on a bale of hay and waving doesn’t qualify as a good float. And cars and boats are cool, but I cut most of those because we’ve all seen them and while they are cool, there are only so many I can take. And beauty queens from six to twenty-six-years-old: Same thing – how many do we need in a parade? Maybe it’s just me.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

I found Mayor Burchett, but missed the city officials. I have to give it to him for always being around, walking through the parade. Not bad. I did run into a gaggle of city officials earlier, so I know they were there and planning to mount a float. It’s worth mentioning that the police were also about in large numbers, I think due to the presence of the protesters who had been shouting about shutting down Market Square, so I think the police were ready for problems, but nothing large happened.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Big points from the crowd around us and from our family went to the praise bands belting out Christmas tunes live. One of them played a very cool version of drummer boy (a song which seemed to run throughout the parade) we liked a lot. One Life Church and another I didn’t catch did a very good job. Not a drum corp, but still.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

There were a few animals thrown in for good measure. Of course, there’s the mascot type: WIVK the Frog, Shoney Bear, Chik fil A cows, a lion of some sort and the huge Mayfield Cow. But there were also real animals – no horses, which I kind of miss. I really like horses in a parade. But there were dogs and one of my favorite pictures here is of the dog with the Santa on its back. I’m not a fan of the Pit Bull rescue being in a Christmas Parade, however. Call me an animal hater and generally bad human being if you like, but putting that breed in close proximity – literally inches from their faces at times – of children in a loud, confusing environment that makes many dogs nervous just seems unnecessary at the least.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

The toy shop float was probably my pick for the best, though I would also say the Frozen float and the Ginger Bread float were good. Even though I probably should question their presence in a Christmas parade, I couldn’t help but like the Krispy Creme bus and imagining along with my daughter what it must smell like to ride on that bus. I also liked the Premier Bus just because I thought it looked classy/cool. The parade was also more racially diverse, which I liked. I don’t know if that was a coincidence or reflected a conscious effort, but I liked it.

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

Knoxville Christmas Parade, December 2014

When it was said and done, this felt like a bit of an improvement over past years. The weather certainly helped as it was as comfortable as a December night in Knoxville is ever likely to be. We had a great time. Urban Girl is five and believed every bit of it in her heart. And it’s hard not to like that. Next year I’ll try to bring you better pictures.

 

 

Comments

  1. “It would be like saying all reporters are stupid, like you.”

    I’ve got no problem with Pit Bulls, but I’m not getting a real positive impression of their enthusiasts here.

  2. I just had to give my opinion here. Pit Bulls are not bad dogs, some owners make them that way. I have been around a lot of pit bulls and they are sweet, loving babies. Its not fair to say all are bad just because some are. It would be like saying all reporters are stupid, like you.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      I actually said they made me uncomfortable – not that they were bad. Glad to know we’re clear about your opinion of me though!

  3. Please allow yourself to meet several pit bulls in person. They are sincerely one of the best breeds of dogs I have ever met or owned. I’m more afraid of small dogs (and most vet office employees will attest to this) than pit bulls, because the small ones are the ones that are known to be biters.

    I enjoyed the blog post, but just thought I had to say that you don’t really know how wonderful pit bulls are until you’ve met one!

  4. You obviously don’t know squat about dogs. Pit bulls are actually one of the most stable breeds. Any dog regardless of breed are a reflection of their environment and training. The vst majority of dog bites are from smaller more excitable breeds but it doesn’t make as good of a headline to report that a chihuahua or Pomeranian or chow bit someone. Also, another percentage of incidents upon investigation are found to not include bully breeds. That’s just the first thought from people who don’t know the difference. Please don’t spout ignorance. SMH…..

  5. I found the parade very enjoyable. The floats were amazing as were the bands and dancers. But I must say I was very happy to see animal organizations out there walking their dogs. We used to be nay sayers about certain breeds also, until we became educated. We were introduced to the Pit Bull breed and we fell in love. Never have I met a more loving breed of animal. I’ve been bitten by a lot of dogs, mainly small breeds, but never had an issue with our pit that we rescued. We love this dog so much we adopted a second. Once again, a wonderful addition to our family. I wish we could have hooked up with the Pit Bull rescue group and showed off our babies. I would have marched proudly with them. It’s all about educating those who judge without experience. I also love the Krispy Kreme bus. I really like seeing older things reused. All in all I was very happy with the outcome, even with the dull murmur of protesters chanting in the background. I do agree, bring back the horses.

  6. Thank you so much for the pictures! We didn’t get to go nor did we find it on TV, as I thought it would be. I love the lights on the vehicles, the cow, etc. The reflections on the drums are so pretty. Thank you for all you do to keep us informed and entertained!

  7. Merry Christmas! I have to say that I logged in expecting to hate your blog! So much for prejudging something you have no real information about! I have a group member that follows your blog and he messaged us to share his disappointment at your comments on the Pit Bull Rescue. I logged on as quick as I could…prepared to breath fire and defend my guys with witty and righteous indignation…I am very relieved! I just hate having to get all fired up! So I must say…except for you questioning the judgement of WIVK in allowing us to have our dogs near the public…I enjoyed your blog AND photos! I understand that a blog is based on someones views and that your comments were based on your views of the Pit Bull breed. You have no knowledge of the reputation of our group or the fact that we have been holding and participating in public event in Knoxville for over 7 years. NOT ONCE have we endangered the public by bringing a dog that has not been socialized or prepared for the noise, flashing lights, LOADS of people, or kids that cannot wait to get their hands on that dog that has on a Christmas get up! Heck! We even set up KISSING BOOTHS!!!!!! PLEASE check us out over the next year. Come out to some of the events we participate in. Meet some of our guys so that next year…I can enjoy ALL of your blog. Because I know if you meet our crew…next year you will not have the reservations about the Pit Bulls being there – you will KNOW they are ETPBR dogs and ready for the unexpected!

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      Thanks for commenting and giving a different perspective in a positive way. I’ve actually seen the kissing booth and wish you guys all the best.

      • Yes urban guy, please come out to an event of ours. Or stop us when we are walking downtown and eating at some of the establishments. We would love to keep showing how dogs are to be not just our pit bull terriers (mutts in my case) an how loving they are. My little girl loves the attention.

    • i didn’t have the chance to attend or paricipate in friday’s WIVK parade, but had the pleasure to walk in the rockwood Christmas parade with the very same rescue organization. our dogs (all 17 in the parade) were the bomb, as a handler i allowed those intrested to pet and adore my ward for the night, when i saw the obvious “i am afraid of dogs” reaction we simply moved another direction. sirens blaring, screaming children and atv and cars actually intrigued these dogs rather causing fearful of anxious behavior. the pit bull is one to the few “breeds” that was created to bond and pack with their people more so than pack within a traditional dog pack, they are happy to be with their humans and greet human strangers that may want to join their pack. this breed type is horribly misunderstood and i loved the chance to allow children and adults alike a chance to get a quick kiss from corrina corrina, who is one of ETPBR’s adoptables. i hope she changes some minds on the pit bulls and taught a few kids that a loving dog is a loving dog no matter the size or appearance.

  8. Eric McKinney says:

    Would you have any pics of our Volkswagen club you could send me. I would really appreciate it.

  9. Larry Crowell says:

    My impression is that this year’s parade was a bit heavy on commercial advertising and a bit light on Christmas.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      I agree. Still, it seemed less bad than some recent years, in my opinion. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to the advertising.

  10. You haven’t seen Star Wars, I take it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      You are a keen observer of this blog, Mr. Ian. Turns out I saw the first one in 1970whatever. It was pretty good, but not so much that I felt I ever needed to see another one. I used to make fun of people who were pop-culturally illiterate. Now I’m them. I just don’t care about it. I wouldn’t recognize most celebrities if they introduced themselves.

  11. Thanks for the thumbs up on our float! We had a blast this year and will definitely be back next year!

  12. The Townsend TN Christmas Parade included a Porta Potty on wheels. I have a photo, if you would like it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. I second your appreciation of the One Life Church float with the live rock band playing Little Drummer Boy. I think it was the best thing I’ve seen in 3 years of watching this parade. A great effort by them.

    Good point about UT. They are also about the only band in the entire region that doesn’t participate in the Veterans Day parade. Maybe someone should invite the UK or Vanderbilt band just to show up our local sluggards. ; )

    You didn’t mention Dollywood’s float — another embarrassment for them.

  14. I second your appreciation of the One Life Church float with the live rock band playing Little Drummer Boy. I think it was the best thing I’ve seen in 3 years of watching this parade. A great effort by them.

    Good point about UT. They are also about the only band in the entire region that doesn’t participate in the Veterans Day parade. Maybe someone should invite the UK or Vanderbilt band just to show up our local sluggards. ; )

  15. Thanks for the photos! We love the home town feel of the parade, and while there are seemingly too many of similar things, that is what a hometown community is for…it brings us together.

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