Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Country Christmas Parade in Leiper's Fork

PawPaw and I headed over to Leiper's Fork yesterday to see their annual Christmas parade. Leiper's Fork is an unincorporated community with strong historical roots. Since PawPaw is buying land nearby and we're going to build a house there, we figured it would be good to start participating in community events.

The Christmas parade was FANTABULOUS! It was held on the narrow road that goes through the business district. As we stood along the road, we could easily talk to the people in the parade.

Highlights of the parade included:

A man wearing western attire and carrying a rifle who kept shouting to the crowds, "I hope you get a BANG out of Christmas!"

A septic tank pump truck with a Christmas wreath on front - Apparently the only requirement for participation was to have some type of Christmas decoration, or maybe the company paid a fee to participate. PawPaw and I laughed at the idea of a septic tank truck in a Christmas parade. Only in Leiper's Fork...

Lots of John Deere tractors - festooned with wreaths or other Christmas items

Bagpipe players

Middle school age baton twirlers

Three guys riding lawn mowers and twirling them in circles on the street

An orange Dukes of Hazzard car that repeatedly revved up the motor and blared that signature horn followed by an antique police car which repeatedly sounded its siren - a mini police chase in slow motion

Everyone who was considering running for office in that community or county - big cars with campaign signs on the side, along with the requisite Christmas wreath or Santa hat

Lots of horse riders and horse- or mule-drawn carriages

A float with Wee Miss Franklin - a little girl of about 3 or 4 years of age who handled riding on the float very well - smiling and throwing candy to onlookers

Santa was atop the local fire truck, and Rudolph mingled with the crowds.

A small group of sheep was herded along the parade route.

Two alpacas on leashes were part of the parade, too.

Everyone in the parade had buckets of candy that they freely tossed to onlookers. A young boy next to us (obviously an experienced parade watcher) came prepared with a bag which he completely filled by the time the parade was over. I left most of the candy for the children, but managed to scoop up a Tootsie Roll and a Hershey's Kiss that came my way. I needed my chocolate fix for the day. I was disappointed that PawPaw nabbed the only Snickers that landed near us.

It may seem that the parade was rather hokey. It was - but in a fun and heart-warming way. Everyone was smiling and having a good time. It wasn't a slick and sophisticated parade, but slick and sophisticated wasn't the goal. The community wanted the down-hown, country, redneck, fun parade they had. Puckett's Grocery was doing a booming business. We saw a county music star who lives in the community. The people in the parade and the people watching the parade were talking to each other as the parade passed. There were lots and lots of children there. There were no strangers in Leiper's Fork yesterday. Watching the Christmas parade will be an annual event for us from now on.

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