Double the fun
A throwback to the simpler days of one Tulsa Christmas parade: The University of Tulsa band marches south on Boston Avenue between East Fourth and Fifth streets in the 1949 Christmas parade.
Courtesy Beryl Ford Collection/Tulsa City-County Library
For the fourth year, Tulsans will receive the arguable “gift” of not one seasonal parade, but two. This year each is called “the Tulsa Christmas Parade,” though different dates, locations and other details distinguish the events.
Tulsa Christmas Parade LLC started its namesake parade at Tulsa Hills Shopping Center in 2011 after the longtime downtown Christmas parade changed its name to the Downtown Parade of Lights.
Josh McFarland founded and helped organize the annual Tulsa Hills parade until 2013, when he joined the Parade of Lights’ board of directors. At that time, the downtown parade became “the Tulsa Downtown Parade of Lights: a celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays.”
“The goal was to get to one parade called the Tulsa Christmas Parade,” McFarland says.
Earlier this year McFarland formed his own nonprofit, Tulsa Event Group Inc., to start a new downtown parade, which will debut Dec. 13. He calls the event “a heartfelt giving-back to the community,” that will resurrect many of the traditions of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited, which organized Tulsa’s downtown Christmas parade for 86 years.
In June, media reports suggested the two Christmas parades planned to merge, and many Tulsans felt an early rush of peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.
But Mark Croucher, organizer of the Dec. 6 parade at Tulsa Hills, says there was no discussion about merging. He says that event, which attracted 10,000-12,000 people in 2013 despite bad weather, is around for the long haul. However, he’s no Scrooge to the other organizers.
“We wish them well and hope they have a great parade,” he says.
Tulsa Christmas parades
Dec. 6 — Tulsa Christmas Parade 6 p.m., Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, East 71st Street and South Olympia Avenue.
Dec. 13 — Tulsa Christmas Parade, “Coming Home for Christmas” 6 p.m., Downtown Tulsa, East Seventh Street and South Boulder Avenue. Benefits A Soldier’s Wish. www.tulsachristmasparade.org