MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 15, 2012

Fashion theme brings out float variety

One minute before showtime the sky opened up and the rain came down.

Though everyone scurried for cover — no one went home.

One man shouted to everyone, “Don’t worry. It’s Oklahoma. We’ll be complaining it’s too hot in a minute.”

This parade was too interesting to abandon, said Gerry Wilson of Owasso.

Wilson brought his family down for the 46th annual Azalea Parade for the 14th time. They never miss it.

“Well, I’ll say some years we wonder where the floats are,” he said. “But this year they have gone all out.”

This year’s parade theme was “Fashions and Trends Through the Years.”

Floats covered everything from medieval times to the 1980s and a little of everything in between.

Wilson’s grandson, 3 years old, crowed, clapped and danced to all the different styles of music.

This year’s parade saw 72 entries. Alice Newmann of Keys said she was impressed with the number of floats and other entrants this year.

“Those little girls dancing first to Michael Jackson, then switching to Elvis, then some 80s stuff were really great,” she said. “I hope they win.”

“Those little girls” were from Showbiz Dance, and they did win Best Drill Team with their dance moves from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

Motorcycles roared by and Model-T Fords tootled by spectators. There was plenty of candy being thrown.

One little boy was smitten by the Bedouin Shrine clowns.

First he tapped “Wildfire” on the back, then threw his arms open wide for a big hug.

He giggled at “Hi-Bi” and high-fived a clown on a giant tricycle.

The Muskogee High School and Hilldale High School marching bands appeared — both to huge cheers.

Many politicians turned out, stumping for upcoming elections and handing out goodies everywhere.

Grand marshals were Former Attorney General Drew Edmondson and his wife, Linda Edmondson.

The Castle of Muskogee brought a pirate ship and plenty of pirates to make the children laugh.

The king and queen with their personal guard strolled in the parade.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

2012 Azalea Parade results

• Best Overall — The Castle and Ever After Party and Catering.

• Best Commercial — First National Bank.

• Best Non-Commercial — District Court Clerk Paula Sexton's office.

• Best Theme — The Castle and Ever After Party and Catering.

• Best Drill Team — Show Biz Dance Productions.

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