Many cities around the world have parades and holiday festivities around this time of year, but not too many will continue with the parade even in the cold and rain. Even though the weather forced the city to cancel the tree lighting ceremony, the people of Melissa decided not to let the rain dampen their spirits, and pushed forward with the city’s parade as scheduled. Stacey Piyakhun, the pastor at the Melissa United Methodist Church, said there was a good reason why the city didn’t just cancel.

“If it would’ve been a safety issue, we would’ve cancelled,” Piyakhun said. “This time of year it is hard to reschedule events.”

Piyakhun greeted the wandering people and gave them glow-in-the dark candles. They didn’t put off any heat to keep guests warm, but they did provide a little light to navigate the dark roads.

Many organizations showed up to light the parade route with their Christmas-themed vehicles. There were more than 30 entries, including the high school, middle school, cheerleaders and local cub scout troop.

Stacy Jackson, voted into the city council in August, said he loves living in Melissa. He said he couldn’t think of any other place he would rather live and loves calling it home.

“Seeing all the people here in spite of the rain speaks in and itself of the love for Melissa and the culture,” he said.

The people in the parade weren’t the only ones to brave the elements and show up at the parade route. Many people from the surrounding neighborhoods came to show their support and love for the city of Melissa. One family were waiting under their umbrellas to watch the parade. Regina Davis, along with her husband Roger, son Brian and daughter Angel, has only lived in the neighborhood for a few months. Davis signed up for the neighborhood newsletter to keep up to date with the activities, and read about the Christmas Parade. The Davis family decided to go out in the rain for their kids.

“Angel loves everything that has to do with Christmas, and wanted to come,” Davis said.

Even though it was a dark and stormy night, it wasn’t enough to take away from the beauty of the lights and the holiday cheer.