There was no decision on whether I’d watch the first “live stream” of the 2020 Christmas parade in Plant City. I knew I’d be viewing it from the comfort of my home, sitting on a large recliner facing the 4K television that I selected to watch it on. My popcorn was ready.
It was different than the days of my youth, where I was more often a participant than a spectator. Where were the floats that were pulled by both vintage and shiny new tractors, representing Plant City and it’s agricultural roots? You know we have all bragged at some point, that we’re from “The Winter Strawberry Capital of the World,” or as Kayleigh McEnany likes to put it, “The Strawberry Capital of the World” — omitting our seasonal reference.
Where was the Raider Marching Band? Seeing my old Alma Mater and any uniform revisions was my most anticipated entrant. Hoping they would all be wearing the same COVID-19 masks in school colors would have just knocked it out of the park! No band. What a disappointment. Marching to the cadence of the drums would have sufficed since I realize it would be difficult to play most instruments while wearing a mask. We did get the ROTC, and I personally think the band marches in better formation, all while playing an instrument and reading music from their lyres.
The Facebook comments could be useful during gaps in the parade since they were entertaining to most. Censoring for unnecessary profanity is a sad realization. I was appalled, but even more embarrassed since I had invited friends in New Mexico and Delaware to watch the parade with me. Yes, nothing like taunting Florida’s wonderful weather that evening.
It was a good effort by the Chamber of Commerce and I hope they continue to grow the idea. I may be not be willing to drive down to the parade route and hunt for parking and a spot to sit, but I will eagerly anticipate curling up on the sofa for future parades. I just need to remember more butter for the popcorn next time.