Floats filled downtown during last night’s parade, each one telling the watching crowd something about the people that made them.
Just shy of 100 floats bearing giant props, princesses, classic cars, motorcycles and countless Christmas lights lit up the night as floats lined up for the beginning of the parade.
Gauntlet Fitness joined the parade for the first time this year. The local gym’s float carried about 20 kids between the ages of 7 and 17 and included rock climbing gear as decorations. Gym co-owner Ashley Mason said the idea was to create something specific and fitting.
“We took some of our rigging from the gym and bolted it in and hung everybody’s favorite ninja holds on there,” Mason said. “They’re unique and fun and challenging. This is just who we are, and it was a great representation of the gym and what we do.”
Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Services proved their penchant for princesses with a Frozen-themed float last year. This year, they built a Beauty and the Beast themed float, using styrofoam to mimic the bricks of a castle.
“We were trying to figure out how we were going to do the foam,” Jason Roe with SOAS said. “We had an idea, but we found a Youtube video that showed us how to carve it out. It was just a lot of time, and luckily today we finished like 15 minutes before we got here.”
Recreational soccer league G.O.A.L.S is a familiar sight at Ardmore parades, but this year’s float included a six-foot-tall inflatable soccer ball illuminated from below. G.O.A.L.S Registrar Matt Poe said the idea came late in the game after he saw the soccer ball prop on Amazon.
“We kind of went with a different feel this time,” Poe said. “In the dark, it should look really cool. It was kind of trial and error, it took about seven different lights underneath it to see if it would work.”
The Carter County Community Emergency Response Team turned their float into a gingerbread-themed North Pole CERT headquarters, staffed entirely with elves.
“This year we wanted to do something different,” Head Elf Stefani Jones said.  
King Aerospace’s floats are usually plane-themed, and this year was no exception. Controller Jack Vanderslice said last year’s float, a large prop plane with smoke coming from its engine, won them second place. This year, Snoopy piloted a smaller plane on top of the group’s Peanuts-themed float.
An employee built the plane’s frame by hand.
“We thought about a whole bunch of different things that have airplanes,” Vanderslice said. “When we think of Christmas, we think of the Charlie Brown Christmas special.”
Usually the Lone Grove band isn’t able to participate in the parade, making this year a first for participating students.
“It’s always on the first day of tryouts for all-state, but this year it wasn’t,” Lone Grove Band Director David Hagan said. “They’re excited.”
Band students wrapped in strings of lights performed Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls as they marched.
“We have to be lit up, so we bought a bunch of battery powered LEDs,” Hagan said. “It’d be hard to get 80 kids on a float.”