Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas the old-fashioned way on display in parade

December 1, 2012


Costumed horses and wagons traveled from as far as Oklahoma and South Dakota for Saturday’s 20th annual Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, and spectators likewise came from miles around to see it. One of few horse-drawn parades in the Midwest, it drew 113 official participants this year, meaning more than a thousand riders paraded down Massachusetts Street. The parade is managed by a nonprofit organization and supported by local businesses.

With so much to see, some spectators have learned where the best seats in the house are. Zoann McConchie, of Kansas City, Mo., found a spot on Seventh Street where the parade stopped for traffic on its way downtown. With the parade slowed, she had a better opportunity to see everything and even talk with the riders.

“Everyone’s willing to talk about their buggies, and how old the horses are,” she said. “I learn a lot, and even go home and read more about them.”

The most audible reaction from the crowd came when Nancy McConnell, of Pleasant Hill, Mo., rode through on a small carriage pulled by Angel, a miniature Sicilian donkey who stands less than three feet tall at the shoulder.

McConnell said she took the 7-year-old donkey to many parades, but this one in Lawrence was her favorite.

“It’s the best organized and the most fun,” she said. “It’s just friendly.”

Angel was a favorite of Tucker Corbin, 7, of Lawrence. His grandmother Robin Corbin said he had worried the donkey was pulling too much weight, but she managed just fine.

Some of the parade riders brought wagons and costumes of a historical period, such as the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers from Plainville, or the Commanding General Color Guard from Fort Riley. Others decorated themselves in Christmas gear, including Santa Claus himself, who came last, clinging to the back of a wagon piled high with presents. And not surprisingly, with hundreds of horses passing through downtown, the parade was completed with a city street cleaner trailing behind at a safe distance.


Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 6 months ago

How about more information on the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers of Plainville?

If you asked most people attending the parade, I'll bet most Kansas don't even know who they are or the things that they stand for.

And, by the way, the pictorial presentation of the parade (which accompanies this article) was tremendous.

And who was Santa Claus, by name?

It wouldn't be that much effort to include every group that participated after the main article, and in the accompanying pictorial. After all, that is one reason people like to read newspapers such as the Journal-World!

Every name means that that person goes out and buys one - or possibly a number of newspapers - to send to friends!

As well as sending the online pictorial and story.

ThePilgrim 5 years, 6 months ago

I had to be out of town yesterday and I am greatly disappointed that I missed this Christmas tradition.

John Gibson 5 years, 6 months ago

Isn't it sad that there are people like 'briseis' in this world that just can't let others enjoy something they believe in? They must have a sad and lonely life that they have to find their joy in demeaning others beliefs. I really enjoyed the parade yesterday as I was in a place with nobody else around and got the chance to speak with the riders also. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

armyhawk25 5 years, 6 months ago

Great pic.. Loved the parade.. If any one has any pics of the Fort Riley's Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard from the parade that would be so awesome.. I was part of the group this year and was trying to find some pics to show family, or know of a way to find some pics.

Laura Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

Erm, what? Because it's called a Christmas parade? Geez, get a life! I'm not a Christian and yet have no problem with Christmas as a secular holiday. The word certainly doesn't offend me, but maybe if it was called a holiday parade or a winter celebration parade it would be okay with you?

These kind of celebrations, of community gatherings are important to keep a town vital and vibrant. Life would be pretty empty and dull without fun in it!

I don't know how much public money goes to it, but I do know that it brings a lot of visitors in to town to stay in motels, eat and shop. I was shopping downtown today and one store owner said it was crazy busy yesterday and she saw several out of town shoppers that come in once a year for the parade and to buy gifts.

I suppose you also complain about money spent on Santa Claus coming to town due to his originally being a Christian Saint, right?

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

The parade is on government streets. Government is not suppose to support religion. There are countless examples of atheists taking down crosses and Christmas trees on government property.

I had a post removed for pointing this fact out.

classclown 5 years, 6 months ago

Was anybody from Lawrence in the parade. Seems odd that a parade is held in Lawrence and not one resident is in it.

Also was there anything about it other than the one Santa that was actually Christmasy?

Angela Heili 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes there were Lawrence residents in it. There were quite few Lawrence residents in it. Not sure where you're getting your information but whomever is telling you there were no Lawrence residents in it is giving you erroneous information.

Did you not see the Parade? There were tons of Christmas decorations, on the horses, the carriages and the people.

Betty Bartholomew 5 years, 6 months ago

There were lots of Christmas decorations on the carriages.

And at least one resident was in it - a friend of mine who lives in Lawrence is one of the Wild Women of the Frontier who rode in the parade. Prior to WWotF, she rode with the mounted posse in at least two parades.

Betty Bartholomew 5 years, 6 months ago

I enjoy the parade tremendously every year (though this year was super-warm and muggy -blech!), but I am a bit of a Scrooge in that I wish they wouldn't allow parking on Mass for the parade. It would thin out the giant crowds at the intersections and make it easier for everybody to have a good view.

classclown 5 years, 6 months ago

No I did not see the parade. All I had to go on was this article and the accompanying pictures. The only residents mentioned were spectators and the participants that were mentioned were all from elsewhere.

Nor can you really see anything Christmas related in the pictures with the exception of the one with the Santa Clause. Hence my curiosity. Thank you.

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