There was a very special grand marshall at the Mainx24 Parade: Oreo, the goat. Oreo, a pygmy goat, is a pet. He belongs to a family who lives in a suburb on the boundary of Chattanooga called East Ridge.
As the story goes, Oreo is more like a dog than a goat. Unfortunately for Oreo and his family, East Ridge doesn’t allow goats. The East Ridge City Council took issue with Oreo and, after months of hearings, ruled that Oreo is not an exception.
The struggle for the family to stay together made the local news and really got the goat of many, creating a bit of a local media stir. The organizers of the Mainx24 event on the South Side invited Oreo to be the grand marshall for the parade.
Ironically, when I googled “chattanooga south side goat,” about half way down the results, Niko’s South Side Grill came up as having goat on the menu. Fortunately for Oreo, it turned out to be goat cheese. 🙂
By the way, Oreo’s family has said that they will move before they give up the goat.
I think it made the media because writers secretly love opportunities for bad puns.
Following Oreo, a series of vintage cars went by, including one advertising the local minor league baseball team, the Lookouts. While there didn’t appear to actually be any Lookout team members in the car (it’s off season), it still reminded me to add getting to one of their games to my list of things to do.
Santa came along several times during the parade. I’m beginning to develop a theory about how he manages to get to all the houses in a single night. In this series of photos, he was riding a Harley. I don’t actually see the Harley as contributing to his success at criss-crossing the planet so quickly.
Santa was wisely followed by a float full of young girls from the Big Sisters program–they were smart to stay close to Santa.
Next, two of my favorite Chattanoogan vehicles came by. The first, a genuine WWII Duck. I’ve had the great pleasure of riding in one of these when the Chattanooga Audubon Society made arrangements with them to transport a group to McClellan Island for a bird walk. We got the full tour in the process and it was quite fun.
The second is the double-decker bus that frequently goes by our place with a tour guide chattering away with the loud speaker echoing in our building. I like the double-decker bus, none-the-less. It’s become symbolic of Chattanooga’s character: big city in a small package with a lot more smiling.
Immediately behind the double-decker bus, there was a brigade of women and the occasional man pushing baby strollers, mostly with babies in them. I wasn’t sure if they were representing something, but it sure was cute.
It also makes my point: big city followed by small town, smiles all around.