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The weekend before Thanksgiving was our town’s annual Christmas parade, complete with all the bells and whistles (literally).  After the parade was our church’s annual Hanging of the Greens, where we deck the halls with festive decorations (or try to, anyway).  It was a full and enjoyable day, and a good send-in to herald the holiday season.

The parade was surprisingly lengthy, much to my delight.  Usually, if you arrive to a small-town parade route ten minutes after it is scheduled to start, you don’t miss a thing.  Small-town parades almost never start on time.  If you arrive five minutes after the parade has actually started, you’ve missed it.  Small-town parades are notoriously short.

Fun was had by all on a bright, sunny day!  I only posted a fraction of the pictures I took that day.  Here are some highlights:

Meet Hoodie Boy.

He’s the young man in the purple hoodie who will be in many of the pictures, or at least the parts of him I couldn’t crop out.  He was having so much fun that he stood out in the middle of the street so no one else could see.  He is crazy about candy and didn’t want to miss even one piece that was thrown!  He managed to get in nearly every picture I took, so you can keep an eye out for him Where’s Waldo style!

Hoodie Boy also made it so I had to stand out too close to the parade.  

I would love to have gotten a photo of the WHOLE car.  But, no matter, there was too much fun going on to care very much!

Floats, at least in this parade, consisted of anything that people could sit in or stand on.  Many of them were reminiscent of a hay ride.

Float

Dude, you’re on a float in a parade with spectators–GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONE!

While one girl is paying too close attention to the little boy who thinks the pile of candy in front of him is his, her jacket is about to become road kill

While one girl is paying too close attention to the little boy who thinks the pile of candy in front of him is his, her jacket is about to become road kill

Okay boys, once again, you're supposed to throw the candy to the people, not sit there and keep it for yourselves.

Okay boys, once again, you’re supposed to throw the candy to the people, not sit there and keep it for yourselves.

Although this is an interesting looking truck, the float it was towing behind it got everyone's attention...

Although this is an interesting looking truck, the float it was towing behind it got everyone’s attention…

...the smallest unmanned float in the parade!

…the smallest unmanned float in the parade!

And here is the smallest float with people in this parade…

Little float

Daughter: “Dad, I was called into work suddenly.  Can you take the kids today?”

Dad: “Oh, sure, I know just the thing to do today.  There’s a parade in town.  The kids will love it!”

Daughter: “You’re taking them to the parade?”

Dad: “Taking them?!  We’ll just be IN the parade!”

Everyone thinks we're part of a parade--nobody knows I'm only babysitting the grandkids!

Everyone thinks we’re part of a parade–nobody knows I’m only babysitting the grandkids!

Parks and Recreation went all-out this year on their float:

Float4

Little girls in stockings hanging from the fireplace–cute idea for a float, and one of the few decorated floats.

Stockings

One of the many princess candidates being driven by–no need to do any waving at the crowd when you have candy to throw!

This parade was full of fantastic cars and vehicles–only a few of them are in this post.

I always think it’s cute when a little old couple who have been sensible all their lives suddenly go out and get a car like this!

Old Car

Old Car2

Old Car3

Old Car4

Old Car5

Old Car6

Lots of pretty flag girls and marching bands.

Band1

Hoodie Boy forced me out into the middle of the street for the occasional picture.

Band2

Band3

Band5

Flag Squad

Steppers

At the Christmas parade you can get as much candy as you do at Halloween!  Everybody in the parade is throwing some!

A group from Christian Health Care were in the parade as candy throwers, while children waited and watched hopefully.

Lots of businesses were in the parade to advertise.  I was most impressed with the new pizza place in town, that went all-out in this parade to advertise with cute little girls holding signs, a gorgeous dog, a pretty girl dressed as an elf throwing candy out of the company van, and a pack of adult candy throwers.  Now that’s advertising!

Roccos1

Roccos2

Roccos3

Roccos4

And, of course, no parade is complete without the fast moving, rolling, spinning porta-potty!

Potty

A well-behaved pet is an asset to any parade!

Dog and Float

Schnauzer

Dog3

Dog4

Horses

This rider is a teacher, and she stopped to converse with a few of her students

This rider is a teacher, and she stopped to converse with a few of her students

I don’t know, something about this float just screams refugee camp.

Refugee Camp

And the moment every good boy and girl wait for in this parade every year….

Santa!!!

Santa

Santa2

And so ends our annual holiday parade–lots of fun and lots of flying candy!  Sure hope you’ve enjoyed our little slice of pre-Christmas Ozarks Heaven!