Hundreds of people lined Broadway Street, on Monday, Dec. 2 for the 40th annual Pittsburg Christmas parade. The parade was put on by the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation which went from 14th to 1st street, lasting about an hour.
Parade entries encouraged all community members to enter a float into the parade. Categories included floats marching bands/dance groups, walkers only, vehicles, and animal/horse. Entry into the parade was also free of charge.
Rules were given at this year’s parade. Number one, the one and only Santa in the parade rode in the fire truck at the end of the parade as no other Santa replicas were allowed. Candy and other items could not be thrown from the parade and must have been handed out. Third, the floats or entries must have been decorated with a Christmas/holiday theme. Fourth, all floats mechanical floats/flammable materials must have been treated with flame-retardant mixtures. Fifth, inspections of all entries were completed by the Pittsburg Fire Department to ensure compliance and safety. Lastly, all entries were to be registered to participate.
Several floats from local businesses and organizations participated this year. Many got in the holiday spirit wrapping vehicles in lights and wearing festive costumes. Companies or businesses that participated in the parade included; Pittsburg State ‘Pride of the Plains’ marching band, PSU dance/cheer team, Morning Sun, Tri-Fitness, along with many local businesses/organizations.
“It [the parade] went great,” said Director of PSU Athletic Bands Doug Whitten. “It’s an opportunity to support the community. It’s nice to have a holiday thing to finish the season with.”
The Pittsburg Christmas parade marks the end of the season for the ‘Pride of the Plains’ marching band as football season has concluded and the basketball season starts a new chapter with a different marching band crew.
Most notable in the annual Pittsburg parade was the Mirza Shriners of Pittsburg who dressed in clown costumes. This years’ parade marks the 20th year the group has been in the parade.
“There were a lot more people this year, it seems like, then last year,” said Mirza Shrine member Dusty Deringer. “We’re out here spreading the message for Shriners Hospitals. So, any time we do these events it’s just to let the people/public know about the Shriners.”
Shriners Hospitals is a network of 22 non-profit medical facilities across North America. Children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.
“It was a lot of fun, a very big parade,” said Westar business manager Kari D. West. “We are here as part of the community spirit and we are trying to get out during the Christmas holiday just doing some Christmas community stuff.”
Concluding the parade was Santa Clause riding on the Pittsburg Fire Department fire truck putting the finishing touch on the 40th annual Pittsburg Christmas parade.