Christmas maybe a few weeks away, but area towns are hosting their Christmas parades and decorating this weekend.

Christmas maybe a few weeks away, but area towns are hosting their Christmas parades and decorating this weekend.
Diamond will kick it off at 10 a.m., and then Neosho's at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Parades brings back fond memories for me. Whether it is watching them on TV or heading to Grandpa and Grandma Higdon's house here in Neosho or fast forward to working at the Daily News and covering the countless parades. Let's start with watching them at my grandparents house, they lived near Sale Memorial Hospital (which is now Freeman Neosho Hospital). the parade back then was always shortly after noon on Saturday. I don't remember the exact parade route other than it would come up McKinney Street in front of their house and turn down Wood Street going back toward the Neosho Square. When we watched the parades, we would sit on my grandparents' porch and then run out toward the floats hoping for candy. Every once in a while, I can still see the house, even though it was torn down nearly 18 years ago. A lot of fond memories there.
Years later, the parade watching took a turn in my life, as I would cover them for the Daily News. Now, I have walked the parade taking photographs, I have stood on the corner      of Brook Street taking the pictures and I have even participated with them riding in the Daily News float for a couple of years to the Freeman Neosho Hospital float with my wife, Tina to even riding in on of the Neosho Shrine Club cars and finally to even ridding on the back of the Neosho Fire truck while interviewing Santa Claus.
These parades have a great following and it is always a great way to see the various parade participants come out and participate.  
Another event that is happening this Friday and Saturday is the annual Old fashioned Jolly Mill Christmas and the annual Christmas Open House at Jolly Mill Park. Doors open from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Santa visits from 7-8:30 each night. Refreshments are provided and children are welcome to bring an ornament for Santa’s tree. The park is located west of Monett on Highway 60, south on County Road 1010 and west on CR 2025.

So take the family to these parades and also to Jolly Mill. Memories will be made and I know that you will talk about it for years to come.

Todd G. Higdon is the managing editor and writes a weekly column. He can be reached at thigdon@