The afternoon crispness takes on a bit of an edge. A jovial crowd gathers, numbers growing. Vendors set up food trucks. Dogs and leash-attached humans mill about. Children at the pony ride stand on tip-toes and exclaim over the pint-size equines wearing red ribbons and silver bells. Master of Ceremony hypes the early arrivals with a game of Trivia and promises prizes. Mayor speaks. The master switch is flipped.
An array of tiny lights twined among tree branches glows. Red and green and blue and clear. Fairy dust drifts across floats. Children bubble with laughter. Magic crackles in the air.
The annual Lights of the Ozarks and Christmas Parade blooms into our best dreams and hopes and promises. Homegrown. Splendid. Neighbors. Friends. Family. Best of the Best.