I’ve loved parades ever since I was a little girl. The festive nature, the creative floats and especially the music are what make for the most fulfilling parade experience in my book. Over the years, my focus has changed from thinking about the candy I would receive to thinking about how, as a event planner, I could do a similar event or do it better. Even with those changes, I will always love the music, the floats and the happiness that exude from parades.
We can’t be at every local Christmas parade this season, but I wanted to share a few photos from my home parade in Bentonville. This year’s theme of the Winter Wonderland parade was Christmas films. There was an amazing number of Snoopy floats and floats paying homage to the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I could have missed it, but I didn’t see any White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life and that made me a little sad.
Now, these are just what I experienced. If you had any fun parade experiences, leave it in the comments! We’d love to read what kind of themes were used in Christmas parades across Arkansas.
Now let’s look at those pictures!
Believe it or not, this guy has nothing to do with the Grinch, despite his green hair. This is ECOGEECO, a man who spends countless hours sharing his passion for the environment with groups all over the Northwest Arkansas region. His family was honored to carry the opening banner for this year's parade. By the way, you can find him on Facebook!
Many local schools get in on the action by having a float. Here's the Elm Tree Elementary School "Babes in Toyland" float.
Marching bands are my all-time favorite part of any parade. Here's Bentonville High School's top-notch, award-winning band. I know the kids aren't playing in this picture, but they treated us that day with some amazing Christmas tunes.
Gotta love the Christmas Story, which I admit is my favorite Christmas movie. This float is from the Benton County School of the Arts Girl Scouts. Oh, and no eyes were shot out in the making of this float.
Thankfully this float didn't have quite as many lights as the house did in the movie on which this float is based, Christmas Vacation.
There were many floats featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but this one from Walnut Farm Montessori School had the best Abominable Snowman (the coolest character in that movie, in my opinion).
Home Alone is a new classic. Check out the pizza boxes the Kaleidescope Dance Academy put on their float. Only people who have seen that movie will get how that could possibly be appropriate for a Christmas movie.
There were many floats honoring the Grinch Who Stole Christmas but this guy got up close and personal to greet the children who lined the streets to watch. I'm pretty sure this is from the Flagstone Church of Christ float.
Another popular float idea was Snoopy. A local Corvette club proved that lawn ornaments can be more than just for your yard!
Considering this was a Christmas parade, I found it a little odd that this was the single Nativity Scene. Sure, the theme was Christmas films, but there IS a movie out called Nativity Story. Anyways, this charming float is from First Baptist Church of Bentonville.
One of the only scary Christmas movies is A Nightmare Before Christmas. Here's RE Baker Elementary School's float depicting that movie.
Several animal groups got in on the action including a Pug rescue group and several other rescue organizations. Another was Horses for Healing of NWA, which works with special-needs children to provide therapeutic horseback riding experiences. Most their horses featured in the parade were standard size, but I couldn't help but shoot a photo of this little guy. Who doesn't love a miniature horse-drawn carriage?
What better way to end a parade than with Santa and Mrs. Clause being pulled by a fire department pickup truck.
Experienced reporter who is now an entrepreneur. Jamie's Notebook offers writing services including press releases, corporate blogging and feature writing.