Jefferson City Jaycees parade spreads Christmas spirit

Fatima High School Marching Band leads off the annual Jaycees Christmas Parade downtown Saturday.  (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
Fatima High School Marching Band leads off the annual Jaycees Christmas Parade downtown Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)


Lights, bands, floats and candy.

The 84th annual Jefferson City Jaycees Christmas Parade had it all, including Santa, elves and the Grinch.

Lauren Spratt, a 16-year-old junior at Blair Oaks High School, staked out a spot alongside High Street early. She was unrecognizable, being decked out in a Grinch costume she recently received.

"I got the costume and thought, 'I'll just go in it,'" she said.

She said she simply wanted to do something festive.

She added her favorite part of the parade is that thousands of Christmas lights adorn almost every float.

Karleigh Sneller, another 16-year-old Blair Oaks junior, accompanied Lauren. The girls have been best friends for 13 years, Karleigh said, and she admitted she let her friend down a little.

"I was supposed to be Cindy-Lou Who, but I did not put my hair up," Karleigh said.

The parade, held during the first weekend of December, always tops a weekend of holiday activities for Jefferson City.

Bands competed in music and performance at the parade, and floats competed as well.

On a youth soccer team's float, a boy held a sign for Santa. It read, "Santa, I can explain the red card."

The entire Peanuts gang clustered on another float.

Blair Oaks' state championship volleyball team road along the route on a float, followed by the school's marching band.

Numerous nonprofits were featured on floats or by their buses. The Council for Drug Free Youth bus carried a warning -- "You'll shoot your eye out" -- based on the movie "A Christmas Story."

The Maker's Dozen Band, out of Immanuel Lutheran Honey Creek, sat in what could only be described as a greenhouse on wheels and performed spiritual music as it passed.

Businesses -- Cajun Catfish House, Stacy's Designs, Mid-Mo Dog Training, Jefferson City Dental, among others -- entered floats and vehicles in the parade.

Nine-year-old Peighton Wright was all business Saturday night, standing in a crowd that was about five people deep alongside High Street.

It didn't hurt that people were throwing candy her way, but she was at the parade, "Mostly to see Santa ... and the Grinch."

Her 7-year-old brother, Bentlee Wright, could not contain himself. Looking a little strange, yet right at home, he had a light-up Rudolph nose.

"Holy moly, guacamole!" he yelled as a float went by.

Michael Taylor, 9, of St. Louis, said he basically traveled to Jefferson City by himself. Family said he fibbed -- his grandmother brought him to town.

"The main reason (for the parade) is to display the things you made," Michael said. "Usually, there's someone that they're celebrating."

But there's also candy.

  photo  The Mouse King battles the Nutcracker on Dancer's Alley entry in the Jaycees Christmas Parade. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Local Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, and Venturing units walk in the Jaycees Christmas Parade with a reminder that Scouting has been a part of Missouri Christmases since 1910. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  The Class 3 Volleyball Champion Blair Oaks Lady Falcons ride in the Jaycees Christmas Parade Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Blair Oaks High School Marching Band marches in the Jaycees Christmas Parade Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Jefferson Bank's Jaycees Christmas Parade entry highlights the iconic Christmas TV specials of the 60's. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  The Maker's Dozen entertains parade goers with their excellent bluegrass music in the Jaycees Christmas Parade. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Lucy dares Charlie Brown to kick the ball on the All-n-One Outdoor Solutions entry in the Jaycees Christmas Parade. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Jefferson City and Capital City High School Bands combined to march in the Jaycees Christmas Parade Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Helias Marching Band marches in the annual Jaycees Christmas Parade. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Lincoln University's Marching Musical Storm thrill parade goers with their signature percussive and brassy sound in the Jaycees Christmas Parade.
 
 
  photo  The Jefferson City Community Symphonic Band performs from a flatbed Saturday in the Jaycees Christmas Parade. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  No Christmas parade is complete with Santa Claus wishing everyone a Merry Christmas at the end of the Jaycees Christmas Parade. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)