Ah, the small town parade: marching bands, beauty queens of everything and anything, brownie troops, cub scout packs, baton twirlers, fire trucks, classic cars. It’s just like any big city parade, only smaller. As it turns out, the Southern Pines Christmas parade is really anything but small. It looped both sides of Broad Street, allowing everyone to watch it twice, if desired, and it lasted about one hour. Four marching bands added to the prestige of the parade, including those from UNC-Pembroke and Fayetteville State University.
To top off this busy day in Southern Pines, there was also the Reindeer Fun Run in the morning, a pancake breakfast at the elementary school, and the annual tree lighting in the evening. I have never seen so many people downtown. Leave it to a parade to bring out that sense of place, community pride feeling.
And, for some humor, which group expresses community pride more than the Shriners? How about the Red Hat Society? I think it’s a tie, in classic small town fashion. It’s impossible not to love such an event. See the photos below for the Shriners in their little cars and the Red Hat Ladies on their big 4x4s. I think these men and women enjoyed the parade more than anyone.
If you’re wondering why the Red Hat Society has so much fun, read this poem, “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, whose words inspired such a society.
So, small town parades may not be as exciting as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it’s always fun to see an entire town (or even county!) out and about, cheering for people they know and enjoying what town has to offer. These are events that bring that feeling of community pride. And, of course, they provide entertainment of all forms. In this parade, there was a huge gap and people thought the parade was over even though the last marching band hadn’t come through, nor had Santa Claus! They eventually came through and everyone enjoyed the show.