The TSDMemphis.com Holiday Parade – a new vision for The New Tri-State Defender – was launched Saturday (Dec. 22) and planning for year two already is underway.
"It was an awesome success," said TSD President/Publisher Bernal E. Smith II, who came up with the idea of reviving the downtown tradition of a holiday parade.
"We had great participation from the community. We had a much bigger crowd than I expected. We went up and down Beale Street and down MLK (Martin Luther King) Ave., the first parade to go down MLK in downtown Memphis.
" I am just so excited," said Smith, who rode on the float bearing Santa Claus.
Once a downtown tradition, a holiday parade has been absent from downtown for awhile. The New Tri-State Defender's offices are downtown at 203 Beale St., Ste. 200.
After two consecutive weeks of rain and inclement weather, the third time was the charm for the parade, which Smith said "marks the continued growth and evolution of our publication in our ongoing quest to inform, inspire and elevate our community....
"We intend to build upon this first year to have one of the city's most anticipated annual holiday events."
The parade incorporated a well-deserved salute to the Whitehaven High School football team, students and staff. Whitehaven's football team won the TSSAA state title in Division 1, 6A in Cookeville, Tenn., on Dec. 1.