Expectations were cautiously low, and the weather was dreary, but the Cobbtown Christmas Parade went off as planned. The only weather not forecasted was high winds or snow, but, in hindsight, that would have made no difference either. The long tradition of outstanding Christmas parades would not be interrupted. Period.
During the days leading up to the Saturday, December 2, 2023, event, weather forecasts remained dismal. Conversations among VFW 7764 members planning to attend were equally dismal, but about ten members wanted to go rain or shine. The only way they wouldn’t go is if the event was called. Quartermaster Ronnie Thomas consulted the forecasts on his telephone several times per day, and he became convinced some of the older members who currently have medical issues should stay home. He invited everyone but suggested some of those who called that they might try to stay out of the nasty weather. But there were those like Earl Boyett who is currently being treated for heart issues and decided to go anyway.
”I may have to stay in the truck, but I’m going,” Earl said.
Unofficial Facebook posts announced midmorning Saturday that the event had been cancelled. It was a black and white example of the unreliability of social media. The Cobbtown page announced that the parade was on, and, apparently, most participants and those gathering to watch it went directly to the horse’s mouth for accurate information.
It was also rumored that some parades in the area tossed in the towel and called off their events. But those Cobbtown folks are cats of a different color, and it became apparent by 1 p.m. that it was going to be a go, rain or shine. About the only thing that might have slowed it down was if lightening had struck Sheriff Kyle Sapp’s truck, which was the lead vehicle, and that didn’t happen.
There is no question that the weather caused some participants to stay home as well as some of the older people who would have been along the route to observe. In some cases, it was the wise thing to do. But as Sheriff Sapp and his wife, Gloria, pulled out onto the route, it was obvious that it was parade time in Cobbtown, and the youngsters were just as excited as they would have been on a clear day. Snow would be about the only thing that would raise their excitement to a higher level.
At the traffic light, individuals stood shoulder to shoulder and several deep as they always do. This writer rode with Earl Boyett, and he chuckled as we drove under the light.
“This does not surprise me at all,” he said. "The Cobbtown folks meant to have a parade, and they were going to have their parade.” Personally, I can’t think of a better way to say it.
Some will say the parade was shorter, and perhaps it was. However, we were about the sixth vehicle in the parade, and we circled around the outskirts of the town after exiting the route. When we arrived back at the starting point, the last float in the parade was leaving the staging area and headed downtown through the excited crowd.
Good job, Cobbtown. It’s getting close to Christmastime, and most of us wanted the parade. Obviously, we should have expected nothing less.