Living Wright: Christmas flashbacks spark interest in Tulsa-area parades
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 5:26 AM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Christmas flashbacks
I haven't been to a Christmas parade since 1992.
That was the year Mom took me to the parade in our hometown of Laurel, Miss., home to what was and allegedly still is the largest Christmas parade in the entire Magnolia State.
Other than thinking "I shouldn't eat candy off the street," my main recollection was Mom being a bit miffed at me for not wearing a coat. It was a colder-than-usual December morning, but I argued the jacket "didn't remotely go" with my faded Marithe + Francois Girbaud jeans and some weird navy-green-burgundy shirt in a pattern that was probably only recognizable by people high on LSD.
Teen angst aside, it's a cloudy memory - but a sweet one, nonetheless. In retrospect, the black windbreaker Mom tried to make me wear would've been easier on the public's collective eye had I thrown it on over my LSD shirt. And the candy they were throwing from floats was wrapped, so it was totally safe.
These Christmas flashbacks kind of make me want to attend one of the two dueling parades this weekend - or, at least, that's what some of us at work have come to call them.
The first event is the long-running Parade of Lights, which swapped "Christmas" out for "Holiday," consequently raising the ire of many folks - some of whom formed the Christmas Parade in south Tulsa last year. The latter parade starts rolling 6 p.m. Saturday at Tulsa Hills while the former takes place in the Blue Dome District, also at 6 p.m. Saturday - hence dueling parades.
I thought about catching the first part of one parade, then driving to see the last half of the other. But that seems a bit silly, even for me.
So I'm thinking of starting my own parade. Do I need a permit for that?
As it's rather last-minute, I probably can't wrangle any legitimate floats. I imagine it would just be me hanging out of a Corolla, throwing leftover Halloween candy at my neighbors. Maybe they'd call the cops, which would at least double, if not triple, the extravaganza.
To avoid an altercation with the law, though, I might just go see one of the smaller community parades. One of those might best capture the parades I recall from my small-town youth. I could bring a thermos of hot chocolate and, of course, a decent coat.
Just in case, I'll bring a plastic cup to hold my street candy. Do they throw candy at parades in Oklahoma? Wait, don't tell me, I want it to be a surprise.
With two dueling parades this weekend, the goal is to make an appearance at the one that throws candy. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World