The people lined up all the way down Main Street.
They sat on fold-out chairs and all along the curb, they stood in pairs and threw down blankets on the grass. Kids were bundled up against the nippy Saturday evening, and ran around in circles, antsy and waiting.
Everyone looked up the street, waiting.
Up at the corner, the stop light cycled like normal. The street was empty and the crowd watched expectantly.
A woman said, "What time is it supposed to start?" and then there was a shout, and a jumping kid yelled out, "Here they come! From that way! They're marching over there!"
And there they came, marching in the 16th annual Holiday at Home Parade. There were marching bands, beating drums and blowing horns and dancing. There were people throwing candy. Reserve Officer Training Corps marched stoic-faced in sharp blue uniforms as someone shouted "left" and "right" in rhythm. There were old cars, new convertibles, roaring motorcycles and festively decorated golf carts.
There were clowns and cowboys, politicians and police officers, churches and charitable organizations.
And all of them marched in the Jonesboro parade on Saturday.
It's become a solid tradition, after 16 years. Everybody -- old and young, men and women, boys and girls -- everybody cheered when the last float came by and Santa waved from a fire truck.
- Daniel Silliman