It didn#039;t rain on my parade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

I have always enjoyed a good parade. My older sisters were members of the GHS Tiger Band and I remember watching them march past in their black and gold during many a homecoming and Christmas parade.

I also recall how they grumbled later if they had been marching behind any horses on the parade route…boy, they didn’t like that.

Ready-made fertilizer aside, those were good memories for all of us. Sometimes it was cold, sometimes unseasonably warm. But the band was always great (and I don’t say that simply because my sisters played in it; Mister Mann, the band director, whipped them into the ultimate playing machine, believe you me).

Email newsletter signup

The beauty queens were equally lovely and charming and the kids on the floats, absolutely adorable. And, of course, Santa, the piece de resistance of the event, always brought up the rear on his big red fire truck.

The Shriners wore funny hats and rode around on big motorcycles, tiny little clown cars and trikes, the police cars turned on their sirens and kids scrambled to get the candy tossed from the cars and floats.

This year, the Shriners showed up in a simple van. (I don’t even think they were wearing their funny hats, but it was dark, so I’m not sure.)

However, the sirens still sounded; kids (and some of us well past that description) still grabbed mints and lollipops from the pavement. As for Miss Greater Greenville, well, Melinda sure looked swell in that mink stole as she waved at the passersby from her convertible. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold – it was just right.

And Santa – yes, good old Saint Nick himself – came along waving and laughing and being absolutely jolly, the way Santa always should be. I’ve experienced nighttime parades and daytime parades, and I really do like the nighttime ones the best.

I have one bone to pick – I couldn’t tell who some of the entry sponsors were because they hadn’t used enough light on their signs or made them bold enough (maybe y’all should buy more of those battery-powered lights next time, folks).

However, some of the floats and vehicles were all aglow with hundreds of lights, and they were absolutely spectacular. As for the little kids on the floats, with their Santa hats slipping down over their eyes and slightly crooked reindeer antlers – all were uniformly adorable, of course.

The candy was tasty, too.

I imagine the smiles on the kids’ faces watching the holiday hoopla weren’t so different from the ones on my own face during the parades of my childhood. Perhaps they weren’t so different, in fact, than the one I was sporting last week.

It’s just a shame this year’s parade goers didn’t get to see any Shriners on giant tricycles. However, there was a giant Humvee limousine and a horse-drawn wagon (how often do you see those in same evening?).

And people sometimes think small town life is dull!

Angie Long is the lifestyles reporter for the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 132 or via email at