Moving merrily through Medora

Medora

There’s no better way to celebrate Christmas in Medora than with a parade. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

On Saturday, the smallest of Jackson County’s incorporated communities put on one of its biggest events of the year — the annual Medora Christmas Parade and Festival.

“It’s just a tradition for us,” said Medora resident Sharon Bowers, who helped organize the event. “It brings the community together and brings other people here too.”

There were around 30 entries in this year’s parade, including church floats celebrating the birth of Jesus, emergency vehicles, horse units and of course Santa Claus, who rode in on a Carr Township firetruck.

Morris and Nancy Tippin of Medora served as the parade marshals. The couple have been instrumental in raising awareness of the historic Medora Covered Bridge over

the years.

Although the parade is the highlight of the day, the festival also included a few food and antique vendors, the lighting of the town Christmas tree, the crowning of a prince and princess, visits with Santa and a nighttime dance.

“Christmas wouldn’t

be the same in Medora without this event,” Bow-ers said.

This year marked the 43rd Christmas parade conducted in the community, Bowers added, a fact that makes her proud.

“It goes on no matter what,” she said. “We have dedicated people that come to watch the parade every year.”

Jack and Marilyn Kendall of Seymour are two of those people.

“We wouldn’t miss it,” Marilyn Kendall said.

“My grandparents used

to live here, and it was a big deal.”

Even though the weather Saturday was overcast with a biting cold wind, people still lined the streets.

Marilyn Kendall said she never knows what the weather is going to be like, but it doesn’t keep her and her husband from enjoying the parade.

“Some years it’s been warm and sunny, other times it’s rained,” she said. “And one year, it snowed, and it was just beautiful to see the snowflakes coming down during the parade.”

Last year, there was so much snow, parade organizers said they had to shovel it away so people could make their way down

the streets.

But it still didn’t keep people from coming out.

“You wouldn’t believe the crowds that used to be here,” Marilyn Kendall said.

This year, however, attendance was down significantly.

“We had several vendors not show up because of the threat of rain,” Bowers said. “But I’m surprised there aren’t more people here for the parade.”

Marilyn Kendall said that’s because younger people don’t want to carry on old traditions.

“A lot of the older people have passed on, and the younger generation doesn’t take an interest in things like this anymore,” she said. “It’s a shame, because it brings a lot of joy to people.”

Joy was exactly what Madison Raby, 11, of Medora, was feeling as her family gathered around the town Christmas tree at the Medora Library to sing Christmas carols before the lighting of the tree.

“It’s just joyful,” Raby said of the parade and festival. “I like seeing all the different things in Medora and how it all comes together to make

our community.”

Paisley Morris, 7, was excited about competing in the prince and princess contest. Students from each grade at Medora Elementary School competed by collecting pennies for votes.

The winners this year were Robert “Little Bob” Baughman Jr., 6, and Aaralyn Hackney, 9.

Although she didn’t win, Morris was just happy to get to ride in the parade and throw candy to her friends and others standing along the parade route.

“That’s the best part,” she said.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.