By John Cofield
It was always a chilly early December night. Momma bundled us up, Daddy warmed the car up, and off we went to the Christmas parade! It was and is Americana and Oxford fulfilled the creation of childhood memories we can smile at all these years later.
We were so excited to ride around town with Momma and Daddy and see the Praham house, the Square lights, and the majesty of the Peddle’s home. -June Davidson Goza
We left Park Drive, went to Handy Andy, and turned onto N. 14th Street to see the Parham home with its multitude of lights. The cars were lined up from North Lamar to Jefferson easing by from both directions and we hung out the window wide-eyed at Mr. Aubrey Parham’s work of Christmas art.
While the bands, cheerleaders, and floats lined up to go, we parked at Granddad’s studio on Jackson and briskly walked to the Square. And here came the Oxford High band as I climbed on a mailbox and Dad put Glenn on his shoulders. Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and O Come All Ye Faithful marched on by as we waved and smiled. We were staging an imitation of many parade memories gone by.
I will always remember all the years being in the parade as a child representing the Deborah Kaye School of Dance. Amie Ewing and I had a trick where Amie would flip me over her back and we did that over and over. We flipped the whole way down North and South Lamar. –Cara Gober
After Oxford High came the Central High Mighty Eagles Marching Band. And we stared wide-eyed as they danced, pranced, and played their hearts out.
The parades from years ago. Simpler times with the small town atmosphere. Church choirs singing on the floats, high school bands, Santa throwing candies, and all of us scrambling to get as much as we can. -Vincent Campbell
Then came the Ole Miss Band, “The Pride of the South” with their bright uniforms and next-level performance. Loud and clear, we swelled with pride because we knew Oxford’s Christmas Parade was the best of any small town around.
And then, here came Santa. Several donned the outfit through the years but the Oxford Eagle’s legendary editor Nina Goolsby is the one best remembered. As she threw handfuls of candy from the big sled, it was a kid’s delight.
Yes, in the Christmas world of our youth, we celebrated the birth of Jesus. But on ground level on our Square, it was all about the kids on those chilly early December nights.
I remember driving to Grandmother’s from Illinois for Christmas. When we topped the hill and you could see the colored canopy of lights around the Square, we knew it was really Christmas and we were home! –Celia Jackon Roberts