This is my second year to attend the parade in Downtown Knoxville. I may have stayed home had I not planned to take photos for the blog. The rainy day was definitely getting me down. However, we braved it, found decent parking, and a good place to watch from. The rain settled into a mist and disappeared as the parade began.
I grew up going to Christmas parades in my hometown of Corinth, MS, and have always loved them. My husband, a native Ohio boy, did not grow up with parades, and I still have to convince him to attend every year. I remember my first time riding on a float. I was little, maybe 5 or 6, and it was the float for the company my parents worked for. I don’t remember much except my shoe getting stuck when I tried to get out of my seat and off the float. I was in the marching band in middle and high school and got to participate that way. I always had fun and took it seriously. No smiling. No waving. No talking to parade-goers. My family always tried to get me to break character, but I was strong. They never won. I now taunt my high school marching band kid as he passes by with his trumpet.
There were quite a few well-done floats and several marching bands. Karns was my favorite since West High was supporting their football team in the state championship. Many small and large businesses were represented and passed out candy and Christmas cheer.
One float had live music. I was really impressed as they serenaded the crowds. The entries with young children and seeing the wonder and awe on their sweet faces made the night more special. There were a couple of groups with animals, Young Williams and some random pups in cars, but there were far fewer animals than I had hoped.
I’m a sucker for inflatables. Just ask my tolerant neighbors! So, obviously, floats with good inflatables caught my eye.
Food City was pretty interesting, though it could have used some lights or a wreath. It didn’t really give off a Christmas vibe. A giant shopping cart motored by a small vehicle underneath is impressive, though.
Dancers with sparkle and grace flitted throughout the parade, and beauty queens sparkled in their tiaras and sashes. Acrobats and athletes impressed us as they contorted and balanced on moving vehicles.
Guys on lawnmowers adorned with Christmas lights as they zero-turned the route. There were a couple of lighted dump trucks with people standing in the back and bubbles blowing to give us the illusion of snow. I’ve always wondered if it’s smelly in there.
Santa came just in time for tired feet to find rest and for my husband and I to find a bar on the Peppermint Trail to watch the end of the West vs. Page Championship football game in Chattanooga. West won its second consecutive state title! Go West!
Then crowds swarmed the streets before they reopened to traffic. I have to admit, I haven’t been blown away by the trial road closures on Gay St. just yet. The crowd after the parade gave me hope, though. It was fun, friendly, and more than a block or two, allowing folks to enjoy photo ops and the holiday atmosphere. Maybe it’ll catch on and grow. I hope so.