By now many youth in Fort Worth have no doubt marked the date of Friday, November 24, 2006 on their calendars. That is the scheduled day for both the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the Parade of Lights. That is a night when almost no young person in Fort Worth would prefer to remain home alone.
The appeal of the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony seems to derive largely from its strong link with tradition. Dating couples in Fort Worth have always enjoyed singing Christmas Carols around a lighted Christmas tree. Present-day youth count on the Fort Worth personals to help them locate and secure a date for the ceremonial lighting of the tree in Sundance Square.
The appeal of the Parade of Lights does not derive from tradition. Its appeal has developed from the changing nature of the Parade floats. Many of the organizations in Fort Worth put time and money into the creation of a stand-out float. For that reason, many young men in Fort Worth know that at least some of the floats will catch the eye of their selected date.
That is why so many young dating couples flock to Sundance Square on the night of the Parade of Lights. They know that they will hear plenty of Christmas music. They know that they will see lots of attractive floats. They know that they will take part in one of the key ways by which the holiday spirit generated in Fort Worth fuels the display of yet more holiday spirit.
Of course the holiday spirit generated by the Parade of Lights appears well before the night of the Parade. That holiday spirit is present throughout the laborious process required for the creation of each float. And that same process serves another function, a function less related to the Christmas holidays.
In fact, it is a function that is more closely related to Valentine’s Day. The process of putting together a float can sometimes bring together a young boy and a young girl who are well-matched. When that happens, the float-making usually leads to some dating, possibly beginning with attendance together at the Parade of Lights.
This added way for bringing Fort Worth boys and Fort Worth girls together does not rely on the publication of any personal ads. It depends instead on the willingness of the various Fort Worth organizations to concentrate on the demonstration of some real Christmas spirit. It depends on recognition by those organizations that their efforts will strengthen each organization’s ties to the community.
Now if a young man and a young woman were to meet while making a float, that float making and that meeting could lead to more than stronger community ties. It could also lead to a slight expansion of the population in Fort Worth, Texas.