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story.lead_photo.caption The float from Dynamic Rhythm Dance Studio, with its gaily decorated tree and a sleigh carrying gifts, attracted much attention in the Gravette Christmas parade. The float received the trophy for most festive entry in the parade and was followed by a group of tap dancers who showed off some of their dance steps. - Photo by Susan Holland

GRAVETTE — Folks came to Gravette from throughout the area on Saturday evening, Dec. 1, to help the city celebrate the “Sounds of the Season.” Despite a brisk wind that kept many bundled up in stocking hats and warm scarves, celebrants gathered early to enjoy activities up and down Main Street.

Many dropped by the Gravette Public Library open house where youngsters enjoyed coloring holiday scenes and choosing a poseable figure from the tree, and everyone was served hot spiced cider and cookies. Others walked down the street to collect a bag with a hot dog, chips and bottled water from Simple Faith Baptist Church or warmed up with a cup of hot cocoa from Beacon Baptist Church.

Parade time was announced by the arrival of Gravette police cars with blue lights flashing, followed closely by the Gravette High School marching band. Band members, dressed in colorful holiday clothing, played traditional Christmas carols as they marched along the parade route and earned a trophy for best use of theme for performing their “Sounds of the Season.”

Several vehicles carried members of Gravette Day royalty, including Darlene McVay, Miss Gravette 2018; Tiffany Wheeler, Miss Teen Gravette 2018; NeVaeh Cole, Miss Tween Gravette 2018; little Olive Marie Kane, Miss Tiny Tot 2018; and other Gravette Day winners. McVay and Wheeler went to the museum after the parade to hand candy canes to youngsters visiting Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Other parade entries included a float carrying junior cheerleaders, a large military transport truck and a small group of horsemen, some of whom decorated their mounts with wreaths around their necks and big red bows on their tails. The service groups Gravette Kiwanis Club and Gravette Lions Club entered floats. The Kiwanis entry featured Snoopy’s decorated doghouse, and the Lions Club vehicle carried Lions who are members of the Old Town String Band performing holiday tunes.

First Assembly of God Church entered a float with the theme “Sing Unto the Lord.” Featuring decorated trees and young ladies dressed as angels, one playing a harp, the entry was awarded the trophy for best use of lights. The Gravette Church of Christ also entered a float. A city of Gravette float carried several city employees.

Commercial entries included floats from Ozarks Community Hospital and Metal Building Supply, a large R&R Solutions truck and an SMG concrete mixer truck decorated with holiday wreaths, a Liberty Utilities truck carrying a decorated electric pole, and Larry Jones, representing Grumpy’s Peace, Love & Coffee, riding a streamlined pink and black scooter. A Grand Savings Bank vehicle was followed by employees dressed as elves, tossing candy to the crowd lining the street.

The Dynamic Rhythm Dance Studio float, with a gaily decorated tree and a sleigh filled with gift packages, received the trophy for most festive parade entry. A group of dancers walked behind the float and stopped to perform tap dances along the parade route.

Several Gravette Fire Department fire trucks and rescue vehicles and an ambulance appeared near the end of the parade, and the department’s big ladder truck No. 1 brought up the rear. Santa and Mrs. Claus rode high atop the vehicle, waving to the crowd as they passed by.

Parade entries traveled to the Gravette Historical Museum where the celebration continued. Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with youngsters in the museum annex and heard their requests, and members of several churches provided cookies and hot cocoa to those waiting in line. Chris and Tina Crose, from Imagine Before and After School Care, sold Amish kettle corn on the grounds.

The historic Kindley home, beautifully decorated by members of the Gravette Museum Commission, was open for tours. Bob and Sandy Kelley, dressed as Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Kindley, greeted guests at the front door. Museum Commission members provided free hot dogs, chips and soft drinks at the east door and the Gravette Police Department, and Gravette Fire Department held a chili cookoff in the backyard.

Cookoff chefs served samples of their chili, and tasters voted for their favorites by making cash donations. When contributions were counted, the police department narrowly edged the fire department, collecting $138 for their Shop with a Cop program. The fire department collected $128.05 to be given to Christmas for Kids.

Print Headline: Gravette celebrates ‘Sounds of the Season’

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