Families gathered along Main Street on Saturday morning to see the annual Toys for Tots Southern Oklahoma Children’s Parade, an event that’s become a tradition.
The crowd waved to family members, friends and neighbors as they scanned the floats for familiar faces, while children shouted “Merry Christmas” and did their best to collect as much candy from the passing parade as possible. Larger, more elaborate floats, riders on horseback, classic cars and motorcycles made up the procession.
Elrena Smith said she’s lived in Ardmore her whole life, and has been attending the parade as long as she can remember.
“It’s always nice to see the improvement, more entries and fancier floats,” Smith said. “My grandson is on the Boy Scouts’ float, so that’s what I’m looking forward to this year. I also work at the library, so I’m sure there are plenty of other kids I know in the parade.”
Smith’s granddaughter, Sarah Bennett, has also been coming to the parade her whole life.
“I was born at Mercy Memorial, so that’s 22 years at least,” Bennett said. “It’s a good time for everyone to come out and enjoy the good parts of Ardmore. It’s always cool to see the floats, and see what everyone came up with.”
Vicki Dial, who’s lived in Ardmore with her family for about 17 years, brings her grandchildren to the parade.
“Last year was really cold, so this the first time it’s been fun for [my granddaughter],” Dial said. “Me, I like the old classic cars, especially the 1972 Monte Carlo.”
The Monte Carlo belongs to Mike Hagan, a friend of Dial’s.  
Evangila Roberts, another longtime Ardmore resident, brought students from Oak Hall Episcopal School to the parade. The parade holds a special place in her heart as well.
“My favorite part is the Ardmore band, especially the drum section” Roberts said. “I wasn’t in it, but my children were, my sister was and my niece was.”