Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Small-Town Alabama Christmas Parade

It was a chilly morning in the Birmingham area December 5. We all dressed warmly and headed over from Helena to nearby Alabaster for the Christmas Parade. The theme is apparently "Christmas Is The Giving Season" and there was a lot of giving going on at the parade. Candy, pounds and pounds of candy... Kathy and Brian have been involved in a few dozen parades during our band days, from Santa Barbara's Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade (Brian was a member of a youth band sponsored by a music store) to the Hollywood Lane Christmas Parade (Brian was drum major of the San Marcos HS Band from Santa Barbara) to the Portland Rose Festival Parade (Kathy was a member of the Durango HS Band) to the Hope BC Brigade Days Parade. Never in all those parades have we seen so much candy handed over and thrown out. Granddaughter Riley must have collected well over a pound during the two-hour event.

Here she is awaiting the start of the parade, not knowing quite what to expect.

Of course, she has no recent memory of parades so doesn't know why Mommy brought a bag along, but she soon caught on.

Most of the half dozen politicans in the parade, running for everything up to and including Lieutenant Governor, were throwing candy as well. What a metaphor! So did local businesses, churches, and community organizations such as the Shriners.

Near the front of the parade was the Thompson High School "Marching Southern Sounds" Band. The band, color guard, and dance team / drill team took up most of the length of a city block. They must put on quite a halftime show at home football games. We're surprised that some of those girls weren't covered with goose bumps, but then we were too polite to peer closely.

The windchill factor blew the temperature down near freezing, and it was fortunate we had a car to retreat to during the frequent gaps in the parade. Still, it was worth waiting for the cacophony of sirens wailing from an assortment of ambulances and fire trucks that announced both the end of the parade and the arrival of Santa.

We know one Mommy whose Christmas wish is that her new baby arrive well before the Rose Bowl Parade.

No comments: