The End of Christmas Creep 

In the old days, you didn’t see Christmas decorations until the day after Thanksgiving, because Christmas season didn’t start until Santa appeared at the Macy’s parade. Now Christmas creeps up on you around, oh, Halloween. So for the orthodox and the traditionalists, there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the 2010 Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade, which features Santa’s first “official” appearance in St. Louis. It also stars about a billion high school marching bands, whose members this year will wear brand-new coats until they hit the pavement -- then they drop the coats, and volunteers from Catholic Charities and the St. Louis Division of Human Resources will pick ’em, clean ’em and distribute ’em to folks who need them. That’s a swell gesture, and you should consider matching it by bringing an extra coat or two to donate in the same spirit. This year’s parade also comes with the usual floats and inflatables, and the Grand Marshal is longtime sports organist Ernie Hays -- wait, Ernie’s a great guy and all, but can he really march with an organ? The parade starts at 8:45 a.m. at the corner of Washington Avenue and Fourth Street (www.christmasinstlouis.org/parade). Admission is free.
Thu., Nov. 25, 2010

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