By ROB W. ANDERSON
It was truly an old country Christmas in Hulbert on Saturday night.
Members of the rural community came together and crowded around the stretch of State Highway 51 that runs through the middle of Hulbert to enjoy their first ever Christmas parade.
Parade participants readied their floats or groups for the lineup of 45 forming on the east side of town, and state and local law officials started diverting traffic around Hulbert around 5 p.m.
Officers were stationed at the intersections of S.H. 51 and East Sixth Street, and on the west side of town at Rider Lane, to safely divert traffic, said Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Tommy Mullins.
“We’ve got officers at every end telling drivers where to go so it’s safely done,” he said. “Everybody’s kind of tickled to have [a Christmas parade] here. It’s definitely a first, and hopefully it’ll be annual thing. I was kind of surprised at how many people wanted to put floats and entries into it. It really got going good, and the people that are putting it on have really spent a lot of time on it. I like seeing the effort out here for them.”
It took about an hour for the processional, which included the town’s eldest citizen, Fern Girdner, as grand marshal, to complete its run down main street before turning south on Broadway. Professional bull rider Ryan Dirteater was also featured in the event.
After the parade was over, Mayor Shirley Teague gathered everyone in attendance near the Christmas tree at the town hall building to thank them for their efforts.
“Things came together a lot better than I thought it would,” she said. “Everybody worked really hard to put this on the for community. I want to tell everybody that brought a float or did anything for the parade that we appreciate their effort, and I hope that this becomes a yearly event for the city of Hulbert.”
Hulbert First Baptist Church co-hosted the inaugural holiday event and also provided its annual living nativity. Church representative Bridget Manes said the idea for the parade was to give everyone a reason to come together as a community.
“I love Hulbert, and just want to get some good PR. There are a lot of good people here,” she said. “I want to thank everyone that I drove crazy about this parade for turning out. This is a great town, and we can make this a better place by coming together. Thank you Hulbert, America.”
After Teague and Manes spoke to the crowd, local high school seniors Chris Vance and Craig Potts were honored for their heroic efforts in saving two elder women from a burning car Dec. 2 in Muskogee, while Teddy Ridenhour was honored for his fundraising efforts for community families and people in need. A drawing was also held to award gift certificates and cash prizes.
Resident Roger McClure said the town hosts a homecoming parade for the high school every year, but was happy a Christmas parade was developed for people to enjoy.
To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.
Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.
Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.