Local law enforcement vehicles and emergency responders kicked off the annual Neosho Christmas Parade on Saturday with lights, sound, and plenty of candy for the kids along the route.

Local law enforcement vehicles and emergency responders kicked off the annual Neosho Christmas Parade on Saturday with lights, sound, and plenty of candy for the kids along the route.
More than 60 entries were included in this year's parade. Warmer than average temperatures encouraged a large crowd to attend, many in shirt sleeves. Area residents of all ages were on hand to view the approximately hour long parade that traveled through downtown Neosho and down two sides of the historic Neosho Square.  
Many brought lawn chairs for their comfort in watching the many floats and participants pass. Some parents decked out the baby and toddler strollers with holiday lights and many brought along the family pets to enjoy the experience.
The Neosho High School Missouri 41st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) marched in the parade along with the Neosho High School band. Numerous organizations, churches, schools  and businesses also participated with festive, light-bright floats. So did a trio of political candidates.
John Branham, the Neosho Citizen of the Year, served as Grand Marshall for the annual parade, riding in a vehicle provided by Griffith Motor Company.
From a tandem bicycle ridden by a couple to a Peterbilt rig decked out with holiday decorations, the annual parade offered a variety of participants. Vintage John Deere tractors, Freeman Auxiliary volunteers, horse-drawn conveyances, horse back riders, and a number of classic and hot rod vehicles were also part of the parade. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery's float featured a fish as well as an inflatable Santa.
One of the always popular entries, the Neosho Shrine Club 'hillbilly' cars were a hit with the crowd.
Although it's his busiest season of the year, Santa Claus made his traditional appearance near the end of the parade, waving and making merry on the back of a Neosho Fire Department truck.
From Nativity Scenes to holiday wonderlands, the annual Neosho Christmas parade offered something to please those in attendance from music and lights to caroling and more. Like something out of a Christmas carol, there was even a horse drawn sleigh!
Judges were on hand to award trophies for the best in numerous categories. Winners will receive a trophy from the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce.

Winners and
categories are:
Grand Champion: Griffin, Tosh, and friends
Best use of theme: Monarch Springs Baptist Church
Most creative: Lucky Clover 4-H
Most entertaining: Neosho Shrine Club
Best Costume: Girl Scout Troop #70353
Best Band: Neosho High School
Best School Float: Carver Elementary, Neosho
Best Local Business: Liberty Tax Service
Best Church Float: Northside Baptist Church
Best Civic Float: Neosho Freeman Family YMCA
Best class auto: Howard Duke
Best street rod: Route 66 Corvette Cruisers
Best horse costume: Memories by Gabby
The numerous participants this year made the annual Neosho Christmas parade a resounding success and set the stage for the Christmas season in Neosho.