Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor freezing winds could stop the parade from arriving in Greenbrier’s annual Christmas Parade titled “Christmas Through the Years,” organized by the Greenbrier Lions Club. After a ten day delay because of ice storms, it was one of the shortest parades in Greenbrier’s history. Nevertheless, many parents lined the streets with their bundled up children to greet the marchers and officially welcome Santa Claus.
The Greenbrier High School Future Farmers of America took the first place trophy for Best Float as they played on the words and used Christmas Through the “Ears” as a way to show how to feed America. Their closing line on the back of their float as it disappeared was “We know ... it’s corny!”
JR Runion of Y107 Radio enlivened the parade with his excellent announcing, especially giving the background on the Parade Grand Marshal, Major Archibald Douglas (Tiger) Odom of Greenbrier. This distinguished soldier led the parade in a restored vintage 1942 M.B. flat grill Willis Jeep. Odom was inducted into the Arkansas Military Hall of Fame Nov. 1 and had earned the Silver Star Medal, five awards of the Bronze Star Medal and two Purple Hearts while serving in the Vietnam War.
The Greenbrier Marching Band donned their Christmas Santa hats and band T-shirts and trekked the cold march to the delight of everyone. They received a trophy and loud applause and cheers from the very cold spectators along the route. Their loyalty to the Greenbrier parade has always made the parade special.
Sophomore Blaise Cooper of Greenbrier High School rode her horse, Sunny, to take the trophy for the Best Decorated Horse. Sunny had his hooves painted green and wore red ankle tape and garlands on his bridle to celebrate. There were nineteen entries in this year’s parade, including four horses. Rick McKay of Maumelle took the Best Car Trophy for his 1951 Chevy truck.
Finally, the big Chief himself, Santa Claus, arrived atop a red fire engine with the blasting of horns and sirens and loud cheers from all the kids along the way. Sponsors for this year’s parade included Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce, Greenbrier EAST program, Same Ole Joe’s Pizza, Y107 Radio, Harps Foods and Home Bank.