Parade season started with Knoxville’s Veteran’s Day Parade. It was everything a parade should be, but as I’ve seen, frequently isn’t. The parade experience started over your head with low flying planes and helicopters repeatedly circling the parade route. The soldiers of the past, present and future marched in full uniform. Marching bands. Local politicians. The crowds were respectful and appreciative. I wish all the children could have been there, but it took place during school hours.
Then, there was the small town parade. I won’t name which small town it was. I suspect the description fits many, many small towns. The crowds were thick and at first sight of the parade beginning, everyone moved off the sidewalks and into the street. No child there saw or noticed anything in the parade except the massive quantities of candy being thrown onto the street. Every child scrambled to fill their fists, oblivious to the cars that were traveling in the parade. The cars? Apparently, the only requirement to be in a small town parade is to have a motorized vehicle. New, old, unusual and ordinary cars filled with ordinary people drove down the street and littered the road with sugary treats. There were trucks, too. The trucks had people in lawn chairs beaning the onlookers with candy as though a major league recruiter was judging their speed and aim. Don’t have a regular car? Just drive the cab of your semi and blow the horn repeatedly. I would have made the children wear earplugs if I had known about that one beforehand. Yes, the ten thousand Shriners in toy cars was cute. The helmet-less men, women, children and toddlers on four wheelers was less cute. The only thing this parade didn’t have was Britney Spears. She would have fit in comfortably. She would have had to wear underwear though. Everyone there had better manners than she does.
The final parade of the year will be tomorrow night in downtown Knoxville. Since they aren’t allowed to throw candy, I’m not sure what to expect. I’m hopeful I’ll have a giant hot chocolate to keep me warm. We’re bringing everyone except the karate kid. Come by and say hello.