A dozen floats, fire trucks, antique cars and horses and carriages paraded down Highway 32 and through downtown Houlka Saturday night Dec. 8. The parade was capped by a float featuring Santa Claus riding a life-size silver bull.
“I want to thank everyone who turned out for the parade and I especially want to thank those churches, groups and organizations that were in the parade,” said Houlka Mayor Jimmy Kelly. “This was the biggest parade I have seen in a long, long time.”
Kelly also thanked the volunteers who worked to organize the parade and those who hosted events surrounding the parade.
“We had the holiday bazaar at the community center, we had the gospel singing at the gazebo on the square on Saturday afternoon and of course the parade itself,” said Kelly. “So many people volunteered and they are the people who make Houlka a very special place to live. I also want to add that Ray Laney was in charge of this year’s parade and he played a big part in its success.”
Kelly – sporting a red Santa Claus cap — rode his motorcycle in the parade as part of a motorcycle group.
Kelly also pointed out stores in Houlka were open and full of shoppers Saturday night.
The parade staged at the parking lot of Houlka High School and headed south on Highway 32 before turning south and winding around city hall and heading back to the school.
Parade watchers were lined up in cars parked along Highway 32 and were standing shoulder-to-shoulder around the square at City Hall.
Most of this year’s floats had a religious theme and all antique and custom cars were decorated with either lights, tinsel, bows or all three.
Candy was thrown to children along the route and quickly scooped up by kids and adults alike.
Houlka also had area saddle clubs and carriages in its parade.
“The parade went off without a hitch and the community turned out and seemed to enjoy it,” said Kelly. “Houlka is ready for Christmas and this parade helped kick it off.”