‘Yes, Virginia, Dot’s seen all sixty Pontotoc parades’

By Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress

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She’s the queen of Christmas parades in Pontotoc. Dot Hardin can remember when the very first parade rolled down Main Street in 1953.

“I remember this so vividly because I was a Jaycette and Claude [her husband] was a Jaycee.”

Her daughter, Genie, who was a girl at the time, was in that very first parade, “with Mrs. Mooreland’s group.”

Hardin said as the years went by the Jaycees and Jaycettes had floats in the parade and she was also part of the parade through the Mississippi Antique car Club.

“In 1956 I remember when the cars came for the parade the late Stanley Faulkner filled those old cars with gasoline. We even had people come in from Memphis for that parade.”

Hardin said she and her husband had this 1904 Premier Car that they entered the parade one year during those early years of the parade and the announcer couldn’t remember what kind of car it was, “and there are only three of them like it in the world.”

In fact, years later, “my grandchildren rode in the parade in that old car with the DAR.”

Through the years Hardin has been active in participating in the Christmas parade through the Woman’s Club and her children’s involvement through school and college.

“I have sat through the cold and storms going to the parade,” she said. “And people are good to me by letting me stand in front of them since I am so short, sort of like Zaccheus,” she joked.

Pontotoc’s Christmas Parade this year is Monday at 6:30 p.m. And now that the sixtieth parade is upon us will we find Dot Hardin there?

She smiled.

“Unless I’m deathly sick or the doctor won’t let me, I shall be there with bells on.”