Knoxville Christmas Parade, Part One

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

I’m going to break this into two parts because it was so long and, honestly, so good I ended up with too many photos for one article. Look for the second one later today. We’ll hit it up from the beginning: It was cold enough to be festive, but not enough to be painful. Given the last parade I attended (Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade) featured 19° temperatures, this one was quite pleasant.

Large crowds lined Gay Street, as usual. We planned to walk into the Old City and watch it on Jackson, but we were caught off guard when we got to Gay Street around 7:00, the official start time, and realized the parade had already gotten to Summit Hill. Early start?

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

We grabbed spots on the 100 block which was lightly populated relative to the other side of Summit Hill. It was a small but enthusiastic crowd and we had a great time with everyone who gathered there.

It was clear from the beginning the parade had upped its game over previous years. Rusty Wallace was the Grand Marshal and a large number of floats in the parade seemed to have a connection to the Rusty Wallace family of dealerships. Was there an influx of money for floats? We noticed at least several bearing the moniker of Cline’s Floats, a North Carolina company, which sells kits for floats. I’m for it.

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Of course there were vintage fire engines, decorated cars and decorated machinery. I could use a little less machinery, but I’m sure others love it. I am happy we didn’t have wrestlers, an Ark or a larger-than-life crucified Jesus (wrong Bible stories for the season) as we’ve had in the past. There were certainly groups some of us might grumble about, but it seemed we may be moving in the right direction.

Grace Christian fielded a vocal ensemble and that was a nice touch to balance out the bands. It’s kind of like caroling, no? I also enjoyed the truck on a float as a sleigh being pulled by little trucks as reindeer, but maybe that was me. A nicely decorated veteran float was near the front and was well-received.

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

If “Christmas Vacation,” hasn’t achieved legendary status, I’m not sure what the Christmas landscape would look like if it did. Think of all the Christmas movie classics over the last hundred years and throw in Dicken’s Christmas Carol and the total references to them all together would be approximately zero. References to “Christmas Vacation” total approximately seven thousand. There may have been about equal amounts baby-in-a-manger and “Christmas Vacation.” It’s like the holiday season’s “Big Lebowski.”

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Knox Rockets scared our kids. Maybe your kids loved it, but it hurt all our ears. Cool group, doing their thing, but not our cup-of-tea. And children in the parade? Tons and tons of cute little scouts and others. Mostly they were huddled on floats looking cute and cold. One sign that this parade was a step up was that the Shoney’s float is always one of the best and now it’s middle-of-the-pack. Shoney Bear has to work a little harder next year.

We liked the mowers with people in onsies driving them. A rabbit (?), a gingerbread man and Olaf and the monster from Frozen delighted our little ones. The cat walking in front of the casino float? Creepy. I’m like, “Go Cat, Go.” Like keep on walking, you creepin’ me out.

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

Christmas Parade, Knoxville, December 2018

We loved all the high school bands, of course, along with their flag corps and majorettes, etc. Love that tuba with the Christmas tree cover. The Bruster’s van made the kids want ice cream even in the winter. That’s a pretty cool Van, actually.

I’m halfway through the photos, so I’ll break here and be back later today with the second half!

Comments

  1. No mention this time of the presence of an inordinate profusion of politicians and office seekers. Is this because last month’s election scattered them back to whence they came — or you just chose to ignore them, in the spirit of the season?

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      I did some ignoring. Sons of the Confederacy was out – Not Christmasy. Right to Life – Really, abortion as a theme for a children’s event? Democrats, lots of them – No problem with them, except in a long Christmas parade, maybe stick to Christmas. Most of the individual politicians were gone. I do like seeing City Council there. I just didn’t want to start any arguments – my choices would be different from the next guy. I didn’t take so many pictures of cars and machines, even though I took some, etc.

  2. Larry Lewis says:

    I love that Food City “float,” Alan. I’m still laughing…in a good way. Great photos, of an event that will build memories for children for years to come.

  3. The parade was very nice but I was trying to get to the Tennessee theater—people lined up for the parade were not very nice to let you through in order to cross the street even though I explained I was not trying to get in front of them but just needed to pass through—maybe in the future the police could help getting people across

  4. Julienne W. says:

    Pictures of the fun floats definitely proved the Parade got waaay better this year now I wished we made the effort to attend despite the cold. My husband and I went to our first Christmas Parade last year and I was looking high and low for floats and was disappointed to see so few and felt it’s a one and done experience. I’ll look forward to next year’s then!

  5. What is the world coming to when the Knoxville Christmas parade is actually good?!? I miss your funny reviews of the lame parades of years back. The comment about the creepy cat was a nice touch though.

    Maybe you should provide a link to one of your classic posts about the Christmas parade from back in the day, just so people know what they’re missing.

  6. The dude abides!

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