Most everybody loves a parade.
Those Bourbon County residents who braved the brisk wind and nippy temperatures to see the Christmas parade on Main Street, sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, this week got plenty to cheer and applaud with the various motorized and horse and donkey-drawn entries.
From marching groups to dignitaries to businesses to churches to riders on horseback, all were on view.
Santa made a special appearance and waved to those who lined the sidewalks and intersections downtown, spreading Christmas cheer along the way.
Following the parade, he was joined by Chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison and City Manager Dave Martin in handing out hats and gloves, items sorely needed to keep warm against the chilly evening.
The parade, while the focal point for most people attending the day's festivities, wasn't the only attraction.
Food and refreshments kept people in a festive spirit. The lighting of the tree by Mayor Jim Adams followed the announcement of the parade winners.
The Living Nativity put on by Bethel Community Church offered a sizable cast of all ages, with song and narrative, telling the story of Christ's birth also beckoned residents.
Parades are a tradition in our country.
The annual Macy's parade in New York serves to kick off the holiday season and there are other parades in Chicago and major cities.
Yet it is in our hometowns where our community pride is most noticeable at these special times.
Businesses, churches, civic and community groups and organizations come together to promote all that is special about our hometowns.
The very youngest to the oldest take a sense of pride in getting the chance to be in front of their neighbors, friends and family in performing stunts, playing an instrument, riding horses or bikes or in cars and trucks or just waving to the crowd.
We all like to feel good about where we live, work and play and parades and the related holiday events give us a chance to do that.
Yes, navigating the crowds can be trying, especially during a holiday season in which it's easy to feel added stress over a sense of urgency to do the many tasks on our lists.
But taking part in or just watching a parade or sharing in our traditions of lighting the city tree, the Living Nativity, or viewing the Christmas lights, renews our sense of patriotism, of giving, and of sharing.
Few countries around the globe have the freedom to organize and celebrate in such a unique way.
So check out the Fort Scott Tribune's editions or our website and get the details on our communities' holiday events, from the many activities to the varied celebrations.
The time to relax and soak in the events will surely bring a smile.
Floyd Jernigan is the publisher of The Fort Scott Tribune. His column appears each Friday.