I remember attending Christmas parades in town when I was growing up. Seems like the parades lasted forever and that floats from the very serious to the very whimsical lined up as far as I could see. Everyone was in the Christmas spirit.
Here lately–meaning the past decade or so–Christmas parade participation has dwindled. Entries are less and less about floats and more and more about decorated cars and trucks. The float has gone the way of the pay telephone, I guess. Times and people have changed. Everyone is in such a hurry to do this and to go to that before Christmas that few make the time necessary to put a float together.
Downtown, too, has changed. Christmas parades back then, when nearly every piece of real estate in downtown Hazlehurst was occupied by retail, drew more attention from the business community. Businesses were open later, some even having open house events, so that parade folks could shop afterwards. One could find most anything in downtown. Trade and commerce were as much a part of the evening as the parade.
Nonetheless, a Christmas parade is coming to your town over the next few days: Friday in Wesson; Saturday in Crystal Springs; and, Sunday, December 14, in Hazlehurst. Chambers of Commerce in each town are sponsoring the parade, each with its own theme. They welcome all participants–cars, trucks, floats, tractors, horses and even some side-by-sides. Trust me, from serving 10 total years on the board of the Hazlehurst Area Chamber of Commerce, I know.
Perhaps you and some your co-workers, friends, family or church members have a good idea that could economically be turned into a cool float. You still have time to work on it. Enlist your children or grandchildren to help. They will enjoy the experience, even if they are a little ‘hesitant’ to help out.
Who knows . . your float may win a prize and be featured on the front page of this newspaper! And, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year!