It is parade season time in Southwest Missouri and the forecast for this Saturday looks great with temperatures in the 60-degree mark.
The two parades that I know of are Granby at 2 p.m. and Neosho at 5 p.m. Both will follow the normal parade routes.
Parades are fun, from watching them to participating in them to covering them to even interviewing Santa Claus. When I was a kid, my parents took Greg and I to Neosho to watch the parade, which was generally held during the day around 2 p.m. Grandpa and Grandma Higdon – who lived at 346 S. Wood St. (which is now an empty lot near Freeman Neosho Hospital) – also watched it. The family sat on the porch, as the parade route came up Jefferson Street, turning onto McKinney Street, then turning on Wood Street. As the parade rounded McKinney Street, we would go out to the street to await the parade participants to throw candy and wave at them.
Every time I go by where my grandparents’ house was, I still remember those parades. Neosho’s streets were packed with spectators, looking at each and every one of the parade floats, marching bands and others passing by.
Fast forward a number of years I started working for the Neosho Daily News. It was all hands on deck one year during the parade, as we not only had a parade float, but also had staff taking photos and interviewing those in attendance.
One particular year that I was covering the parade, I had the honor of riding on the back of a Neosho fire truck with Santa Claus. I interviewed Santa, asking about the North Pole, how his reindeer and how he enjoys coming down to Southwest Missouri during this time of the year. I really enjoyed talking with Santa Claus.
So if you can Saturday, take the family to some of the parades. You will be glad that you did.
o o o
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, Christmas is coming up. With that, I have seen residents decorating their homes with Christmas lights, decorations, even putting in the Christmas tree complete with ornaments. I promised Tina that I would decorate the outside of the house and actually, it is one of my “honey-do” jobs for this coming week.
Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.