PICHER — An event that keeps getting bigger and bigger with each passing year — the Picher “Coming Home for Christmas” parade — will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.
This marks the sixth year for the event.
The parade grand marshal will be former Picher-Cardin High School band director Ron Pry.
Pry was at PCHS from 1983-89.
While there, the band brought home many trophies. He now resides in Van Buren, Arkansas, with his wife, Rosie, and daughter, Raven.
His son, Ronnie, graduated from PCHS in 1989,
The parade — which drew more than 75 units last year — will begin on E 22 Road and pass the fire station a couple blocks for those wishing to watch from their cars and to practice social distancing. There will be more parking on each side of the road.
Parade units will begin lining up at 9:15 a.m.
Placing an ornament or stocking on a Christmas tree that will be in front of the Gary Building can remember friends and family who lived in the Picher-Cardin area.
Santa will be at the Gorilla statue located next to the fire station for pictures after the parade.
Free cocoa, coffee, water and donuts will be available.
The Picher-Cardin All-School Reunion committee sponsors the parade.
They will be selling PCHS items at two locations: the four-way stop and the Gary Building.
All entries for the parade are free.
For more information, contact Sherri Mills on Facebook or at 918-541-5805.
The lead and zinc mining town's demise came after Picher was named the Tar Creek Superfund Site in 1980 by the Environmental Protection Agency from subsurface undermining causing cave ins, toxic metal-contaminated mine tailings (chat), and groundwater contamination. The town was further devastated by an F4 tornado that struck in 2008.
Picher was disincorporated by the state of Oklahoma and ceased officially on Sept.1, 2009. The 2000 census showed a population of 1,640, but that number was down to less than 20 by 2010.
Few homes remain and many buildings are long gone after residents were relocated through government buyouts. But the memories that remain are strong ones and people are drawn back year after year.