Reflecting on the Montevallo Christmas parade

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, December 13, 2023

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

I showed up only five or so minutes before Montevallo’s Christmas parade actually started, and I couldn’t find a parking space. 

I would love to blame this on having a ton of work, traffic on the way there, or half a dozen other excuses that I can usually pin my inconveniences on in life. Honestly, though, there’s no good way to admit that I was just too engrossed in reading my latest vampire novel to keep track of the time and hit the road to Montevallo.

Either way, I couldn’t find a parking place, and I desperately needed to before the parade started. I was in charge of grabbing photos for our website, taking notes of the event and getting things prepped for the article on the first Christmas parade of the season in Shelby County.

None of these are tasks easily accomplished from your car.

My eyes lit up as I saw a parking place in front of a local business with the lights off. I parked, grabbed a notebook and camera and walked a block or so up to Montevallo’s main street. 

I never really spent much time in Montevallo before I started working for the Reporter. When I was in high school I hung out in Birmingham and I went out of state for college. Montevallo just had never been on my radar until now, as I hurtled through my late twenties.

I sorta wish I’d discovered it sooner. 

Whenever I cover an event in Montevallo the people are so kind and welcoming, there’s a festive buzz in the air and usually decent food as well.

There wasn’t any food at this year’s Christmas Parade but the friendly people and the festive buzz more than made up for it. 

Cars and people in costume marched down the main street of Montevallo. Fistfuls of candy were tossed into the air and children raced around trying to snatch them up.

As I walked up and down main street, snapping pictures and trying to take note of the different floats in the parade, I tried to remember the last time I was at a Christmas parade like this one.

It wasn’t until I was sitting down at dinner that night, pursuing the menu of a local Mexican food place, that it occurred to me that I probably had never been to a Christmas parade before. Growing up my family focused more on attending holiday parties with close friends or family members over going to larger community gatherings.

It was nice to get to experience something different.

I returned to my car, camera in hand and a pad crammed with notes. Christmas lights twinkled and the night’s cool air tickled my cheeks. 

I got into my car, turned it on and let the seat warmer chase the chill out of my bones. I flicked on the radio and listened to Christmas carols as I began my drive home.