Notice the lack of excitement from the kids. This was taken before the parade started and after we bought our lard-fried donuts and hand-warming coffee. Our kids were a little bit grumpy up until the parade, but apparently that's the way that every other one of our toddler friends felt that morning. Each parent gave the same, "get in the car and be happy/we're going to have a great time/this is for you" speech. Jolly and cheer all around, even if it's forced, because 'tis the season.
Then, the game changed. The parade started, we got a free hard hat and lots of lots of candy. All was right in the world again and those kids were jolly and cheerful all on their candy-catching own.
We're so glad that we made the push to still go. Even though our tushies were frozen from sitting on the sidewalk and our noses were runny from the wind, it really was all worth it. The kids both said their favorite part was the candy, but our favorite part was the crowd. This parade not only scatters Christmas hype, but it also makes Chattanooga feel like a very Big Small Town. We saw so many friends, a pink dog, hang-gliders, 4,000 people in puffy jackets, and the doctor that brought Burl into the world. People, it's like Mayberry with color and glitter, the perfect combination!
The parade was pretty entertaining, and of course I day-dreamed of ways to trick out the minivan for next year. However, I wouldn't trade being with friends as we take it all in. Thanks to everyone who put that event together. There are two things that I would love to ask: the return of the Howard High School Marching Band, because they were great last year. Also, it was so fun having the cars that blared Christmas music as they drove by. I wonder if we could get some music throughout the whole event. (Is that normal to ask?)
Here are some pictures of what we enjoyed this year: