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Former Picher residents plan Christmas parade - KOAM TV 7

Former Picher residents plan Christmas parade

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PICHER, OKLAHOMA -

The holiday season is here, and several towns in the 4 states are holding their annual Christmas parades. But it's been several years since the last parade for one Oklahoma town.

No one's lived in Picher since 2009. A ghost town forgotten by some, but not by those who lived there.

“It’s still a community in heart, it is totally,” says Susie Stone, a former resident and member of the PHS all school reunion committee.

For the first time since the town was shut down, former residents hang a sign over the road, it reads coming home for Christmas.

“Parades in Picher were a big thing, they were so awesome every one of them and we all have such precious memories so we thought this year, okay let’s go for it, let’s put on a Christmas parade,” says Stone.

A committee of 8 women who plan annual Picher class reunions took the reins, decorating the streets and organizing the 50 entries for the event. As many as 1,500 people attend the annual class reunions and organizers are shocked and pleased with the number of people participating in the parade.

“These people love each other and I love them so it will just be a fun day, and you do it because Picher’s gone but Picher’s (in our hearts),” says Stone.

The passion Stone feels for the town remains with every former resident. One family has decorated a Christmas tree in the heart of town for the past 3 years, a way to give back to the home they had to leave.

“Even though a lot of people say Picher is not a town anymore, a lot of us Picher people say it’s still in our heart and that we're still a gorilla and personally, I am too, like it’s never going to change,” says former resident Nikki Morgan.

As the town comes back to life, so does the spirit of those who once lived there, eager to reunite.

“If you look at the land, no you don't see anything pretty. If you look at the buildings, they're gone, no it’s not pretty. But I tell you what , these people have heart and there’s a bond that unless you're from the area, you just don't get it,” says Stone.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning and will follow the same route as in the past. There will be free hot chocolate and coffee for all that attend.

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