NORTH CARROLLTON — We began going through the Christmas decorations in the shop at North Carrollton City Hall back in October to make needed repairs and additions ahead of the 21st annual Carrollton/North Carrollton Christmas Parade.
Each year it brings back a lot of memories when going through these decorations. There are some that are still here from years ago, and some that have been replaced along the way.
I have fond memories dating back to my first term as mayor of North Carrollton when I participated in the Carrollton/North Carrollton Christmas Parade. Looking through old photographs and newspaper clippings of the parade of years gone by, the parade has remained a constant festive occasion for Carroll County. There were plenty memories made with this year’s parade, just as in years past.
As the parade began in Carrollton and came down the hill, passing the historic courthouse, crossing Big Sand Creek Bridge and winding through the streets of North Carrollton, the use of today’s technology makes those memories much easier to capture than in years past. It’s a 21st century image for memories and keepsakes with the smartphones, and the pictures come instantly now along with the videos.
The 2019 parade was terrific. The committee and everyone involved did a great job. As the lineup began an hour ahead of the parade, it gave time for more reflection. I thought about how some things are the same from years ago, including the place for the North Carrollton mayor, behind the Carrollton mayor with the sheriff on up front.
As we lined up, I couldn’t help but think about the early parades, where I was with Sheriff Don Gray and Carrollton Mayor Annie Mae Wilson, who were both longtime public servants. That was back in the early days of the parade. Back then I remember how excited I was when we got some decorations for the light poles throughout the town. Deputy Sheriff Robert Cecil Misskelley and his inmate crew from the Carroll/Montgomery Correctional Facility wired the light poles for the decorations, which made a great addition. My father, Hubert Strachan, had a long trailer, and he picked the decorations up for us to bring back from another town to North Carrollton.
There was an abundance of memories made as the parade began to travel the streets of Carrollton and North Carrollton. Chancery Clerk Sugar Mullins and Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson serving as grand marshals at the end of their longtime public service careers was another example of Carroll County memories that will live on.
I’m sure there will be so many reflections on this great parade as the years go by, just as with the parades of the past. These memories and photographs of the 2019 Carrollton/North Carrollton Christmas Parade are an addition to the glory days of these parades and the community fellowship that has been on display here and will remain for generations.
• Ken Strachan is the mayor of North Carrollton.