Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Annual Christmas Mart and Parade

There is nothing like a small town Christmas celebration. It is a real home-spun production. The street is lined with little booths, mostly covered by pop-up canapies. In the nearby town, it is called the Kris Kringle Mart. For a not-so-small fee, vendors are assigned a space, provided with electric power and provided with 24-hour police security. They sell food, Christmas decorations and pretty much anything else. Here we have one of the local "cheeer" groups performing for the crowd....

The local organizations, such as the various school bands, theatre groups, school clubs, veterans groups, civic groups and local government organize a parade filled with locally-made floats, local officials and, of course, Santa Claus. Here are some pictures from this year's parade....

This was the first unit. From nearby Fort Hood, the 1st Cavalry Horse team. Standing next to me was a dark blonde haired woman with light brown eyes and three small children, the youngest of which was just a small baby. As this unit passed, the tears streamed down her face. Here children were too absorbed in the parade to notice. I assume she is a blue star wife (deployed service member) or a gold star wife (killed in action service member), but I could be wrong. Around here, there are current and former service members who have come home, but brought the war with them in the form of PTSD.

Ya gotta have the Grinch...

Here is the local high school's FFA group. FFA used to stand for "Future Farmers of America," but the dropped it to just the initials because there is now so much more to agriculture than framing...

Since we are near Fort Hood, many different ethnic groups are represented, including Mexicans, Germans, Philipinos, Koreans, Canadians, Britts, American Samoans, and Japanese to name the larger groups. A perfect unit for the parade is the famous "Dora the Explorer."

Around here, children learn to ride early. Note the little one riding double with Mother...

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus! Right down the avenue in a fire truck! This is always the children's favorite...

The last unit, and probably the most important: here comes the street sweeper!

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