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Christmas parade brightened season, spirits

By Walter Geiger Though many thought it should not be held due to COVID, last week’s Christmas parade celebrating Lamar County’s 100th birthday was a smash hit, drawing over 75 entrants. The parade took place on a weeknight, which was a detriment for some, but the crowds were still thick along much of the route through downtown Barnesville and many of those who participated are already planning floats for next year. Coronavirus shut down BBQ & Blues and Buggy Days. We managed to get in the high school football season and portions of the college season but it just has not been the same. Crowds were down. Some of that was by design, some by lack of interest and some due to fear. To see the community come together to participate in and attend the parade was very rewarding. There was a lot of excitement in the staging area and along the parade route and rightly so. People are sick and tired of being cooped up in their homes. They are sick and tired of government functionaries telling them how many people they should have at Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations in their own homes. They are sick and tired of being told they have to stay in but rioters are free to do as they please. They are sick and tired of being told they can’t assemble to worship while trips to Walmart are encouraged. They are sick and tired of being told they cannot go out to eat, especially when those issuing these edicts are often caught personally ignoring them. The opportunity to get involved in and attend a Christmas parade came at just the right time and people got out of the house and got involved. The parade far outshone the Buggy Days parades of recent years which have slowly and sadly deteriorated. Part of it was meager prize money ($200 for the best float and $100 for the best decorated golf cart) but mostly people got involved because this is the season of joyfulness and there has been so little joy to share in 2020. For the most part, people enjoy being around other people, especially at Christmas. Two or three marching bands would have been a nice feature but COVID fears eliminated that possibility. Otherwise, the parade was near perfect and I suspect it will become a permanent addition to the Christmas season calendar. This is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ. It is a time for love. It is a time for joy. It is a time for peace and it is a time for hope. Reflecting on that, let us hope that 2021 brings an end to COVID and the death, despair and distrust it has left in its wake. Let us also hope for an end to the partisanship that has divided our country. The Christmas season is the perfect time to get to work on that.

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