Pawhuska parade scheduled for Dec. 4

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska's annual holiday Parade of Lights is scheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The parade is to follow its normal route, beginning on Kihekah Avenue and flowing south before turning east onto Main Street.

The theme for the 2021 parade is "Homecoming Christmas." Retired Pawhuska pharmacist Ellen Weigant is to be the parade marshal.

Reba Bueno-Conner, office manager at the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, said just before Thanksgiving that entry information had been received for a little under 20 entries up to that point, but she anticipated lots of submissions this week. Bueno-Conner said she had been emailing out forms "like crazy" to interested parties.

Cody and Lauren Garnett, of the Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum and the Buckin' Flamingo gift shop, are returning as parade announcers. Rancher Ron Reed and his wife, Debbie, handled the announcing duties in 2020.

"I always look forward to a good Christmas parade," Cody Garnett said. He brings his unique, colorful auctioneering style of public address to the task of describing holiday parade entries and activities. "It's a great parade and we're honored to do it. We're very honored to speak on behalf of the community at the Pawhuska parade."

Cody's wife, Lauren, said she regards the Parade of Lights as "the best Christmas parade in the country."

Calvary Baptist Church will be providing a hot beverage stand along Kihekah Avenue, Bueno-Conner said. Downtown businesses will be open for those interested in a little holiday shopping, and the Constantine Theater on Main Street is planning to show "The Muppet Christmas Carol" following the parade.

Tyler Williams, parade committee chairman for 2021, said the Parade of Lights maintained its popularity in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, with residents of communities such as Stillwater and Nowata traveling to Pawhuska to see the 2020 event.

"It's going to be a big one this year," Williams predicted, noting that requests for parade applications began early. "I like to think of Pawhuska as Norman Rockwellesque."

Parade entries are categorized as non-profit or for-profit. The non-profit entries that finish first, second and third in their category win cash prizes ($300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place). The for-profit entries that finish first, second and third in their category receive plaques, Bueno-Conner explained.