If Parades Were a Reflection of Our Society

Lexington has a lot of nice things. I’m saying that right up front so you won’t think I’m a Yankee snot, or an elitist Hubbard, Ohioan. I love oodles and oodles of things here.

Downtown Lexington has a thing – I can’t really put my finger on it – but it has something to do with the number of transgenderous couples, white people with dreadlocks, and people who smell like Starbucks and the inside of Pier One from the mid ‘70s. You can’t be downtown Lexington and not think – “cool.”

Which is why I was so surprised at the Lexington Downtown Christmas Parade on Saturday night. My husband and I braved the exiting UK basketball game fans, found a parking spot (illegal, but still good) and actually arrived 20 minutes early to watch the parade, which was featuring the ever famous, always popular Dunbar Marching Band, starring my daughter on second cymbals from the left. And Santa. The real one.

My husband swore the parade route ended at the Christmas tree at Triangle Park, which is conveniently located across the street from the bar at D’Shea’s. 

“Hey,” he said with his fake ‘look-where-we-happened-to-end-up’ look.  “We’re 20 minutes early, let’s duck in here and have a drink while we’re waiting for the parade to start.”

So in we went and were halfway through our second drink when we realized all the people with strollers were heading up Main Street.

We guzzled the rest of our wine and hot footed it over to where everyone was going and, yes, it was the real parade route, which was nowhere near the Christmas tree. 

“We must’ve missed her,” he said, craning his head looking for our daughter, after the third Insight Cable Company truck passed by. I’m not convinced those trucks were actually in the parade; there may have been a cable outage near Transy College and they were enjoying the smooth-tempo traffic jam.

“No, we didn’t miss her,” I said. “They wouldn’t put a bunch of trucks after the Best Band in the Land.” 

This parade could have used more marching bands. There were entire 15-minute increments when there was no noise emanating from the parade at all. No boom box with a Johnny Mathis song blasting, no bullhorn, not even a car radio on.  My husband and I tried our best to get the crowd in the Christmas spirit. 

“Can I get a woot woot?” I yelled at the Chik-Fil-A truck driver.  “What? Woot?” The Girl Scout leader marching behind him eyed me suspiciously and pulled two Brownies close to her side. She may have smelled the wine on my breath.

A private pooper-scooper company had three vehicles in the parade, one with a large pile of fake dog poop wearing a Santa hat. 

“OK, now that’s just gross,” the mom standing next to me said.  A few minutes later her son claimed to have to go to the bathroom and they left.

And it continued downhill from there. Among those allowed to participate in this parade were the prison guards (yes, the county corrections officers, and there were tons of them, begging the question, ‘Who is guarding the prisoners?’) They didn’t throw candy, just stern looks while patting their nightsticks. Behind them was a church that offered counseling. A woman sat on the back of a flatbed with a poster that said “Depression! Drug Addiction! Suicide!” 

Merry Friggin’ Christmas.

There were some good things in the parade. Namely (and in this order) Santa, the Grinch and Big Boy.

Big Boy added a touch of campiness that I had expected from a parade in Lexington.

If the parade committee is looking for feedback, here’s mine: More big headed mascots and fewer civil servants, utility workers and piles of poop. I’m not mentioning any names, but some people need some incentive to leave the bar.