As much as I love Dallas and all the excitement associated with it, there’s a certain charm to living out in the boonies. On a recent Saturday I joined other Rockwall County residents to watch the Kiwanis Christmas Parade. Let me tell you about it.
Suburban Parades I Have Loved
For a city girl, I’ve spent a lot of time out in the burbs. For instance, when we first moved to California, we lived in Los Osos. I don’t think it even qualified as suburb. The entire county of San Luis Obispo is about the size of Garland, one of Dallas’ suburban cities. I most often heard Los Osos referred to as a bedroom community, whatever that means. One thing I knew that it meant was your GPS couldn’t find us.
As tiny as Los Osos was, it had a thriving sense of self. There was a grocery store, some branch banks, a few restaurants and a smattering of professional offices, but not much in the way of shopping.
We did have a holiday parade, however. (Not a Christmas Parade, mind you, because they are ever so much more politically correct in California.) I know about the parade, because I was in it one year as a member of the South Bay Women’s Network. Someone knew someone with an antique car which carried a few of our members and the rest of happily trotted along behind the car with our dogs. I don’t think we had a reason for including the dogs. We just thought it would be more fun. The guys weren’t in the parade. Their job was enthusiastically cheering as we went by.
The other big parade in the area was the Cayucos 4th of July Parade. Cayucos was even smaller than Los Osos, but they had a lot of tourism because they were a beach town, while Los Osos was on the estuary. Neither the Los Osos or Cayucos parade had bands, drill teams or floats – just enthusiastic residents who were willing to march down the street with other residents. The Cayucos parade had been around longer and was a bit more raucous, but both were a lot of fun.
So, my California experience prepared me to enjoy the Kiwanas Christmas Parade. I wasn’t expecting the Tournament of Roses Parade, just an entertaining morning of community. I got just what I bargained for.
The Rockwall Parade
Each month my HOA produces a magazine that fills me in on what’s happening in my area. When December’s copy arrived, it informed me the Kiwanis Christmas Parade would be a part of Rockwall’s Hometown Christmas Celebration in Downtown Rockwall. It also said the parade would start at 9 AM. Here’s what I love about this place. I left my house in Heath at 8:45 and was standing along the parade route by nine.
I enjoyed rubbing elbows with my fellow Rockwallers, but by 9:20 the fun was beginning to wear thin. I mentioned the parade’s absence to someone nearby and she too was getting restless. That’s when a more seasoned Rockwall County resident told us the parade did begin at 9 AM, but it started at the high school. Well, darn! I marked that up for future reference.
Finally, around 9:30 we began seeing evidence suggesting the parade was about to reach Downtown. By 9:45 we had a parade. It was a much bigger deal than anything Los Osos offered. The centerpiece was a marching band and drill team from Rockwall Heath High School. There were scores of beautiful horses, carloads of waving people and tons of “floats”, only these “floats” didn’t exactly float. Each was on a trailer being pulled by its own huge pick up truck. I’d positioned myself at a corner and sometimes the crowd had to be rearranged for the pickups and their trailers to make it around.
It was a perfectly beautiful morning and I had a lot of fun. Next year I’ll either leave home a little later or find a place closer to the high school to watch it. Here’s some shots of the fun event.