Last Saturday we had the pleasure of checking out the Winter Garden Christmas Parade as it coincided with the downtown Farmer's Market we walk to each week. After we purchased some veggies at the market (including a large bunch of local, organic Lacinato kale for just two bucks - yum), we headed over to where the parade-watching throngs were gathering.
Here's some of the festive decor we saw on the way. This purple cow in front of a local business gets my vote for most unusual, but cutest display.
This town takes Christmas seriously!
I bet the town Christmas tree is gorgeous all lit up at night. Since we don't have a car, we will probably not get to see it after dark, but it's pretty during the day as well.
Everyone staked out their places to view the parade. There were a lot of folks downtown! We were pleased to see that some rode their bikes or walked there. I expect we had one of the longer walks at two miles one way.
While waiting for the parade to begin, I crushed on this adorable Boston Terrier. I spoke to her owner so I could pet her and found out that she is about a year and a half old, a mere baby, and her name is Pixil because of the Haggerty spot on her head. How cute is that?
Pixil, you are an adorable flirt -- and your owner has a great smile too!
But without further ado, let the parade begin!
First up, the Winter Garden Police and Fire departments strutted their stuff.
Next up were folks from a few community organizations riding some unique motor vehicles.
Here are some of the adorable parade-watchers, human and canine.
There were some excellent marching bands participating in the parade. I'm sure they'd worked hard to prepare for this day, and that preparation paid off. I was impressed!
This band was the biggest and best. They just kept on coming with sizeable contingents of each instrument section. Their lively music made you want to get up and dance. I did, in fact!
Students from dance and charter schools also showed their spirit.
The marching band from nearby Ocoee High School, just east of Winter Garden, did a great job also.
There were other floats from local businesses and associations. I didn't catch them all, just snapped photos of the more colorful/interesting ones.
Frosty was riding atop a vehicle. He was a beige color so I assume he was a sandman, not a snowman. He's definitely wearing his Florida garb!
The biggest crowd pleasers had to be the adorable small dogs from the Polka Dogz Pet Rescue. Some were available for adoption, while some had already been rescued. While watching the pooches trot by, the girls next to me were begging their mother for a pup. I hope they were successful in convincing her to rescue one!
We ended up leaving the parade before Santa made an appearance as we needed to get back to do some things. As we were walking back to the campground, we heard calls of "Merry Christmas!" from many voices and turned to see folks on floats waving and shouting to us. Turns out, we were walking along the exit route for the parade vehicles.
They were all so friendly and plenty of greetings were exchanged. On a beautiful day like this, it's impossible not to catch the holiday spirit!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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