The Holiday Spirit Fills The Streets of Nixa

Nixa JROTC helped lead the Christmas Parade as the first High School activity that marched down this town’s streets.


Nixa JROTC follows right behind the Dare car at the front of the parade.

   It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the town of Nixa Missouri. On Sunday, December 5th Nixa held its annual Christmas Parade. All the way from McCauley park, around the X Center, and all the way up to Nixa Junior high school the streets were filled with the sound of the Crimson Core as they played classic holiday tunes. Local businesses were advertised in the many car pulled floats, local girls scout and boy scout troops rode along on trailers, and candy was thrown through the air at the many eager kids.

   The Nixa JROTC started out the parade and followed right behind the vibrant green DARE car. The program has been a part of the parade since the program started at Nixa in 1996. Almost every day leading up to the parade, they would march around the Mathews Elementary and the High School Parking lot. At the same time, leaders of the cadences were identified.

   “We would learn some of the army cadences and we would sing them and chant them,” said Senior Madelyn Morris, “ [We] show’d newer cadets in our program how cadences work and how platoon marching works.”

   Morris led JROTC in a cadence to the SpongeBob SquarePants opening while in the back of the group wearing a pigeon onesie with sunglasses.

   “We broke tradition a little bit,” said Morris. “We did mostly standard army cadences, but Sgt. Hoddap asked me to do a special one for the kids which was to sing the Spongebob Square Pants theme song in cadence form. So I was leading that and that was really fun. The kids really liked it, some of them were chanting back.”

 Cadences are a kind of poem or phrase made to help JROTC march in time with one another.

 “It’s like songs,” said Sgt. Robert Hodapp. “It helps keep the kids in step and it also gives them something to build teamwork with. It’s usually really interesting once they get into it.”

  The SpongeBob SquarePants cadence was just one of the cadences made for the spectators of the parade.

  “We try to come up with a variety of different cadences that we think the spectators will enjoy,” said Hodapp. “Sometimes you can even change the words of the cadence to meet the holiday or to meet other criteria. You can create one from scratch if you want.”

   The cadences are kept to the proper marching pace which is 120 steps per minute. There’s two types of cadences. The one in the parade was a marching cadence, but there are also a running cadences which has a faster tempo.

   “It makes running easier because A) you’re breathing. B) you’re not thinking about the run now,” said Hodapp. “So people don’t even notice how long they’re running when they’re singing cadence. Same thing with marching for an extended period of time. When you’re marching and you’re singing cadence, not only does it keep people together, but it can become something that people enjoy doing because there’s an involvement.”

   In past years Hodapp would walk alongside the JROTC in the parade. There were about thirty flags carried by the JROTC in the parade. These include all the branch service flags and some more specific divisional flags. 

   The JROTC and other school programs were seen at the front of the parade in the City Of Nixa Live Stream. 

   “They usually do a little talk through as each element comes by,” said Hodapp. “Chris Russell, who’s the president of the city council, I think, he’s usually there. He’s the same guy that does all the football games. If you look on Youtube and look up Nixa Parade 2021, it will probably show you a YouTube video that will show all the activities.”