When the annual Bangs Christmas Parade commences on Saturday evening at 6 p.m., Barbara Findley of Thrift Mart will be leading the way as this year’s grand marshal.   

A lifelong Brown County resident, Findley has been the owner and operator of Thrift Mart for almost 48 years. As the only full-service grocery store in the city, Thrift Mart provides proximity and convenience for Bangs residents, especially the elderly.   

“There are a lot of older people, senior citizens, who need a place to shop,” Findley said on Thursday. “Bangs needs a store. I know we’re close to Brownwood and close to the big stores, but I like the service that we can provide here.   

“It’s been my life, and I love it.”   

Findley said she is “honored” to be the parade grand marshal. Her late husband, who worked in the store, was once the grand marshal as well.   

Findley now has one son who lives in Dallas, and enjoys traveling in her limited free time. She has no grandchildren and said she enjoys being around younger employees at the Thrift Mart. “All the young people I’ve had over the years, I’ve learned to adopt them,” she laughed. “To see what they do, and grow up to be.   

“It’s been a good, rewarding thing. I know the time’s coming when I won’t be able to do this, and I’ll miss it.” She thanked all her customers for supporting Thrift Mart through the years.   

The Bangs Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Participants will line up on Gantt St. at 5:30 p.m., and anyone is welcome to participate — there is no advanced registration or fees.   

The parade will end downtown and there will be a Christmas presentation at Bangs City Park, courtesy of the First Baptist Church, after the parade.