By M. Scott Morris
TUPELO – The 2013 Reed’s Tupelo Christmas Parade brightened the night for those lining Main, Robins and Jefferson streets on Tuesday.
“It’s awesome at night,” said Moe Bristow, 51, of Tupelo. “They should keep it at night. It’s much more festive.”
Sidewalks were crammed with young and old, who bundled up in their winter coats to watch the floats, bands and walking groups go by.
Saltillo resident Mary King, 32, was wrapped in a sleeping bag, as were 3-year-old Bristol and 11-year-old Zeke.
“I forgot my gloves,” King said. “I’ve got two of everything on, and I forgot my gloves.”
“I got my gloves,” Bristol said. “They’re pink.”
Ada McKinney, 58, of Guntown, had a blanket, a jacket, a quilt, two pair of thermal underwear and three hats. One of the hats was a Santa hat with a tiara attached.
“I’m comfortable,” she said. “Oh, yeah.”
Members of the Tupelo High School marching band wore Santa hats without tiaras. As they performed a medley of Christmas songs, a clown danced behind them.
The Budweiser Clydesdales were near the front of the parade. Someone yelled, “Here come the Clydesdales,” and people moved into the street to get closer looks of the majestic horses.
Bristow was impressed.
“Oh, my, they are gorgeous,” she said. “Thanks you! Thank you, Budweiser!”
The parade of lights continued with members of Hoop-Elo, who spun Hula-Hoops that were lit up with multiple colors. Amanda Gibson, 33, of Tupelo, showed off her hoop skills while wearing a unicorn costume with a shiny silver tail and light-up boots.
“The costume took me a week to put together,” she said between hulas.
The Tupelo Twirlers had their own lights. Someone in the crowd said, “Those aren’t on fire,” then changed her mind and said, “Yes, they are.”
Karen Costello, the Twirlers’ instructor, said the 13-year-olds had been twirling since they were 6, and twirling with fire for about a month.
As impressive as the display was, it might not have mattered to Ellie Crabb, 4, of Tupelo. She used two hands to drink a cup of hot chocolate, then licked her lips with a toothy grin.
“That’s all she talked about, getting hot chocolate at the parade,” said Ellie’s mother, Amy Crabb, 35, of Tupelo.
Litzy Webb, 8, James Webb, 7, and David Webb, 5, all of Tupelo, said their favorite part of the parade came at the end with the horse groups.
One horse and rider put on a dancing show right in front of them. Litzy imitated the horse’s moves, while David pointed and said, “That’s my favorite.”
But that was before the last float of the bright, colorful night.
“Santa Claus! Santa Claus!” the young Webbs yelled, while waving their arms wildly to get the jolly one’s attention.
1. Cloverhaven Animal Hospital
2. Lonesome Riders
3. Easy Riders
1. Bethel Baptist Church
2. Itawamba Community College
3. Le Bonheur (Gumtree TWIGS)
1. Scruggs Farm, Lawn & Garden
2. Scruggs Auto Body
1. Milam Dance Team Ripplettes
2. Starlight 4-H Club
3. Lee County Girl Scouts
1. Mooreville High School
2. Shannon High School
3. Saltillo High School