Article and Photographs by Megan Venable
When friend and colleague Alan Sims asked to help him out with a couple of columns, I was happy to pitch in. Not to be super helpful, or overly benevolent – I was planning on attending the events he asked about anyway, and am excited to share the joy of the season with his readers.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that I love Christmas. I do. My home has been bedecked with 200+ Santa figurines since November 1, and anything that has the word “holiday” or “ho, ho, ho” or “Christmas” in it already has my attention. When Alan asked I document the WIVK Christmas parade, I eagerly accepted.
The parade stepped off promptly at 7 PM. I know, because when I stepped outside on the middle of Gay Street at 7, the parade was already in motion. The weather was perfect for a parade – chilly, but not cold, and therefore packed tight with spectators and hard to swim through the throng.
As a former Disney World employee (cast member, to those in the know) I am quite familiar with parades. And the stepping off time doesn’t necessarily indicate the time the parade will actually process by your location, so trust me when I tell you, this sucker started off PROMPTLY.
I had to scamper quick like a bunny and still missed the Sports Animal van, one of the very first floats to pass, and didn’t have the chance to get a good photo of it. It was going at a good clip, so the Sports Animal crew must have been in a big hurry. I have no idea why though…. Football season is over, and basketball hardly begun, so it isn’t as if anything big is happening in athletics…. Oh well. Missed them by a hair.
As a veteran of many parades, I can tell you on good authority that the WIVK Christmas parade keeps things interesting with a good mix of big fancy vehicles, floats, marching bands, dancers, and the like.
After the parade was about halfway over, I began to feel lonely, so I made my way back down toward the river. I made my way back up the elevator in the Phoenix building, to the place I’ve watched the WIVK Christmas parade for the last five years.
And I spent the second half of the parade there, watching with friends and family. Laughing over cocoa and wine, bowls of chili, with hugs and kisses. After all, isn’t that what the season is all about?
And there you have it. The WIVK Christmas parade kicked off the beginning of an amazing holiday weekend for me, which included a Christmas tea hosted at Colonial Heights Methodist Church, Historic Old North Knoxville Home Tour (more on that later) and a Christmas jaunt on the Three Rivers Rambler – all in one weekend.
And I still managed to find time to clean the house.
If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas season. If you ring in the New Year with any joyous celebration, I wish you the finest holiday of your choice. If we meet during this festive season, please say hello and share a holiday hug. I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be in a jolly mood.