News Obits School/Sports Community Opinion

— Christmas parades always happen on the coldest night (or day). I probably would not go to our Christmas parade in downtown Rogers if my granddaughter wasn’t in the marching band. Some years she wore her brief outfit and twirled her baton. It was always cold. One year some children called out to her, “Aren’t you cold?” She thought, “Duh”. But the weather always takes a back seat to performance.

This year’s December parade in Rogers had 100 entries. Marching bands are my favorite in any parade. The Heritage Highband, in which my granddaughter is majorette, was the last in line, right before Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. We had gone early to find a good parking place where we could sit inside the car out of thecold and watch the floats. But we had to sit through the whole thing just to see my granddaughter march. And, yes, she had on her skimpy outfit. Do kids not feel the cold?

The first year Morgan marched with the band, playing her clarinet, was undoubtedly the coldest night of the parade in history. The temperature must have been in the teens. Morgan cried with the cold but she refused my coat and gloves. Her band leader later told them his hands got so cold he started to put them in his pocket. Then he saw all his band kids standing out there and he wouldn’t do anything to get warmer. He sufferedright along with them. One of the band mothers provided hand warmers, but it didn’t help much. Though I had on two layers of clothes, a heavy coat, gloves and a woolen scarf around my head Icouldn’t take the cold and had to go sit in the car.

One year I went to the annual Christmas parade in Noel, Missouri. But mostly I’ve attended parades in the summer where I either was in the parade or watched them from the sidelines in Pea Ridge, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and, of course, Gravette. My brother-inlaw used to take his antique cars everywhere and I’ve ridden in the rumble seat in a few parades. (Do kids today know what a rumble seat is?)

I like summer parades the best. Even though it is real hot most years, I’ll take the heat over the cold anytime. Summer parades are unquestionably on the hottest days. It’s usually close to 100 degrees and the sun shining so bright makes it even warmer. Jerry and I take lawn chairs and try to find a shade tree to sit under. We enjoy watchingpeople go by and trying to figure out who they might be. We do a lot of visiting with the “old” Gravette crowd.

There’s nothing like the Gravette Days parade, with all those school reunion floats. Something about a small town; the people really turn out to watch. The streets are so full of people you can barely walk. I look forward to going every year, even after all this time. I guess others from my era feel the same way, as there are lots of class reunions held each year from the 50’s and 60’s during this weekend. I notice that I recognize fewer people each year, though. A younger generation is taking ourplace.

Nevertheless, I’ll see you at Gravette Days in August as long as I can breathe. At least we know it won’t be cold.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 12/23/2009

Print Headline: Remembering Gravette And Area Christmas Parades

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