November 21, 2013
Bent Mountain Tacky Tractor Christmas Parade

If you venture up on Bent Mountain the first Saturday in December, you may be surprised by an annual event that is as colorful as it is festive, the 19th Annual Bent Mountain Tacky Tractor Christmas parade.  Warning, the whole shenanigans can be a big irreverent.  My daughter wrote about the parade and her let's just say, eccentric neighbors, in her college essay and was accepted into a very competitive northern college.  I just think they wanted to have a look at her to see if she was sporting all her teeth.  Just kidding, she's a smart kid.  But the parade and said participants makes for very colorful essay fodder.
We started parading about 19 years ago.  My kids were not yet one and two and a half.  It was a zillion degrees below zero.  The parade originated when the Hortons and the Florins threw some ratty tinsel and yard sale reject Christmas decorations up on some old tractors hitched to some raggedy old trailors and took off down the road.  The party soon drew in our neighbors from Bent Mountain as well as friends from Roanoke and Floyd who included pickup trucks and Harleys and llamas. We've even had parade spectators.  That makes it more fun because we get to do the parade wave and jingle the bells.  Most years we have had room for whatever parade spectators wanted to become parade participants.  We just threw them on up one of the "floats."  We usually stop along the way and picnic and libate.  I think I just made that word up.  It's fitting.  Making merry and all.
This, it seems, is an open invitation.  Bundle up, throw some tinsel on your ride and head up Bent Mountain back towards the Nature Conservancy at Bottom Creek Gorge.  You won't miss us, I promise.