Warm temperatures and sunshine peeking through the clouds made braving the windy weather much easier for the people attending the 2012 Muskogee Christmas Parade on Saturday.
Jason Clark, who had daughters on the Muskogee County 4-H float, said he much preferred this year’s weather to last year’s.
“It rained on us last year,” Clark said. “We were all a bit disappointed. This year’s parade was pretty nice. Muskogee is well suited for this. They always do a real good job at making it very family friendly.”
Although showers were in the forecast, the only raining was done by candy as it flew from a myriad of floats, snowmen, clowns and classic cars.
Marching bands from area schools piped out Christmas carols, putting parade watchers in a festive mood. A few of those were from Broadway Manor Healthcare Center.
Tonya Crafton, the activities director at Broadway Manor, said the downtown parade helps put the Christmas spirit in those residents who attend.
“I’m really big on tradition,” Crafton said. “For a lot of these folks, going to parades with their families was a tradition for them. I want to do my best to uphold those for them. We’ve come out the last four years, and last year we were even in the parade.”
Horses pulling wagons, Santa Claus with fairies, and a homemade duck blind were just a few of the many floats in the parade, which had the theme “Christmas Past in Muskogee.”
Giselle and German Ordaz, twin 9-year-olds from Muskogee, said they loved the parade, although each had a specific favorite.
“I liked it all, but I liked the candy the best,” German said. “I’ve been to a few of these parades, and this has been my favorite one. It’s like Halloween all over again.”
Giselle said she liked the image of Tinkerbell on a float with Santa Claus.
“It’s funny,” she said.
This year’s parade featured a large amount of furry, four-legged friends, and with wagging tails and wagging tongues, they made their way through the route, eliciting peals of laughter and many smiles from old and young alike.
Several of the animals sported antlers and Christmas apparel, and a few even had custom dye jobs.
As for the best float, Clark said there was no doubt in his mind which one needed to take home the top honors.
“I really liked the ‘Duck Dynasty’ (duck blind) one,” he said. “Of course, I might be a bit biased, because that’s the one both of my daughters were on.”
Best Commercial Float — The Castle of Muskogee
Best Non-Commercial Float — Connors State College
Best Marching Unit — Firstar Bank
Most Spirited Group — Glad Wags Performance Dogs