Those Vernon County residents who braved the brisk wind and nippy temperatures to see the Christmas parade on the Square, sponsored by the Nevada/Vernon County Chamber of Commerce Saturday night, got plenty to cheer and applaud with the various motorized and horse-drawn entries.
From marching groups, including the Nevada High School band, Scouts and schools, to dignitaries to businesses to churches, all were on view.
Santa made a special appearance and waved to those who lined the sidewalks and intersections downtown, spreading Christmas cheer along the way.
Following the parade, he greeted young and old alike from his seasonal stopover at the Santa House downtown.
The parade serves as the city's focal point during this holiday season, which is also marked by the festive lighting of downtown businesses and the Nevada Regional Medical Center Foundation's Tree of Shining Memories.
The annual Macy's parade in New York serves to kick off the holiday season and there are other parades in Chicago and major cities.
Yet it is in our hometowns where our community pride is most noticeable at these special times.
Businesses, churches, civic and community groups and organizations come together to promote all that is special about our hometowns.
The very youngest to the oldest take a sense of pride in getting the chance to be in front of their neighbors, friends, and family in playing an instrument, riding horses or bikes or in cars, trucks and motorcycles, or just waving to the crowd.
We all like to feel good about where we live, work and play and parades and the related holiday events give us a chance to do that.
Yes, navigating the crowds can be trying, especially during a holiday season in which it's easy to feel added stress over a sense of urgency to do the many tasks on our lists.
But taking part in or just watching a parade or sharing in our traditions of lighting the tree, enjoying school and church holiday performances, or viewing the Christmas lights, renews our sense of patriotism, of giving, and of sharing. Few countries around the globe have the freedom to organize and celebrate in such a unique way.
So check out the Nevada Daily Mail's editions or our Web site and get the details on our communities' holiday events, from the many activities to the varied celebrations.
The time to relax and soak in the events will surely bring a smile.