The small Indiana city where I live used to have an annual Christmas parade back in the 1970s. For some strange reason that nobody can remember, the city leaders decided to do away with the event. Last year our new mayor decided to revive the tradition. Plans made for the Christmas Parade got canceled due to COVID like everything else last year. The city leaders decided to hold the parade this year. A call went out for bikers to participate. The local motorcycle rights group Rooster and I belong to, ABATE of Indiana, took up the challenge of riding in the Christmas Parade.
Why riding in the Christmas Parade could be a challenge
The month of December in Indiana is typically cold and wet. All kinds of moisture can fall from the sky. The temperatures can range from the 60s to somewhere below freezing. Thus, precipitation can range from drizzle to freezing rain, ice, or snow. There are days when all the listed forms of moisture can fall within hours of each other. We got lucky on the day of the parade. The skies were dry, and the temperatures hovered in the 40 to 30-degree range.
Walking to the parade
We had our granddaughters on the day of the parade. Rooster pulled the motorcycle out and warmed up the engine. I drove the girls to the parking lot where the parade ends. Parking the car in this spot required us to walk to where the staging for the parade takes place. We saw many interesting things as we walked through the downtown area. We saw a sexy leg lamp, a giant blow-up plastic elf, and people franticly working on their floats.
The Christmas Parade staging area
When we arrived at the spot where we stage our floats, Rooster was already there. The girls and I seemed to be the last people to arrive. There was a slight complication. The girls and I couldn’t ride on the float because the side railings went missing. The problem was solved with the suggestion our granddaughters could ride in the truck’s bed. Then, I could hop on the back of the bike and ride the parade route with Rooster. I didn’t come dressed for a motorcycle ride, but I’m used to jumping on at the spur of the moment.
A great deal of tomfoolery took place as we waited for the parade to start. People laughed and joked around, which is normal behavior for this band of merry riders filled with the Christmas spirit.
Even the Grinch wasn’t a grouch as we waited to get moving.
People had fun decorating their bikes.
The experience of riding in the Christmas Parade
The rider’s meeting hadn’t finished when they informed us we needed to go. Since the guy with the radio was 20 minutes early, the instructions came as a shock to us. We climbed on the bikes and turned over the motors. Two motorcycle police officers led us through the parade route. Our instructions included riding slow and not making any noise. A marching band was scheduled to come right behind us. This task became mission impossible. A motorcycle has to travel at a certain rate of speed to keep from falling over, making it impossible for walkers to catch up. Also, it’s impossible not to make a certain amount of noise, considering motorcycles are loud by nature.
We traveled down the street without the marching band anywhere behind us. The twenty-minute early start time might have been a mistake. It made it impossible to find the musicians because they spread out through the downtown area to kill a little. It appears an unknown party made a mistake in timing. We finished our part of the parade ten minutes ahead of schedule. Oh well, this is the first year for the event. A few hiccups could be expected. The Rooster did a good job stringing lights all over the Indian. Overall, a lot of fun was had by all.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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2 thoughts on “Riding in the Christmas Parade”
That looks like so much fun, Molly. And great weather too! You lucked out. We have a Christmas parade with decorated logging trucks :-D. It’s so much fun when the community comes out to celebrate. 🙂
Selfishly, I had a good time reading about your experience. In the towns and cities in which I’ve lived, there weren’t Christmas parades. I hadn’t been to a Christmas parade. Now I have.