Selma’s Christmas parade draws crowd downtown Saturday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 14, 2003

It was cold Saturday, at least by Selma standards.

The weather helped to set the mood for the city’s annual Christmas parade. The fact that the fat man’s yearly visit is fast approaching took care of the rest.

Glimpses of St. Nick were to be had throughout the 90-minute spectacle &045; riding, marching, even sitting atop one of the many fire trucks that rolled through downtown Selma.

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The crowds lining Broad Street were treated to a menagerie of parade entries. Just about every means of transportation known to man was in evidence. Some walked. Some rode in cars. Some rode atop floats, sitting on everything from un-ginned cotton to benches. Some rode motorcycles. Some even rode horses.

Even the mayor got into the act. He wisely waved to the crowds from the relative comfort of the back seat of a sedan with the heater going full blast. Only the windows were down. Dallas County District Attorney Ed Greene struck a more aggressive pose. He braved the cold by perching atop the back seat of a convertible with the top down.

Perhaps Greene figures he needs the votes more in the upcoming 2004 election.

The Keith High School marching band looked natty in their new blue and yellow uniforms. The Keith alumni must surely have been proud. All those fund-raisers over the past year or so have finally bore good fruit.

Impartial observers would have to agree that it was a toss-up as to which drum major &045; Southside’s or Selma High’s &045; was stepping highest. There were frequent pauses during the parade as the marchers waited for the entry in front to move on. Neither drum major, however, took the pauses seriously.

If they could not move forward, they simply moved side to side. Or in circles. Or backwards and forwards. They did not &045; could not, it appeared &045; stand still. One marveled at their energy and sheer creativity.

The crowd was two and three deep in places along Broad Street. Most were dressed warmly and many sported wool caps. This, obviously, was not their first time to watch the Christmas parade in Selma.

And when it was over, the Selma Police Department quickly removed the traffic barriers they had set up only hours before. Within minutes, downtown Selma had returned to normal.

Only the memories were left.