LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The streets of downtown Bardstown were lit up by the holiday spirit on Thursday evening at the Annual Bardstown Christmas Parade.

“It's a wonderful small town parade,” said parade attendee Bonnie Thomas.

From the music to the floats, even the free candy, there are smiles all around.

“It's all the time that goes in that people get to be with each other and get friendships when building these floats 25:12,” said parade attendee Eddie Thomas.

But for some, the Bardstown parade this year meant more than a Christmas kick-off.

“It is very emotional, probably for the whole town as well as it is for all of us,” said Mary Taylor, a family friend of Tommy Ballard.

The final float left a lasting impression, just like Tommy Ballard did and had planned for this event.

“He said you don't remember the beginning, you don't remember the middle, but you remember the last,” said Taylor.

Tommy's mission had always been to keep his daughter's name alive; Crystal Rogers, the mother of five who went missing last year and still hasn't been found.

“He had the idea, he was actually going to start on it that day that he was shot,” Taylor explained.

After the tragedy of Tommy's unsolved death, the community stepped up and made his vision a reality. The float was decked out in signs for Crystal and those marching, represented Tommy.

The people watching the parade said they appreciated every bit of it.

“The least we can do is to keep that spirit alive and still try to find out what happened,” said Thomas.

Continuing Tommy’s walk, just like he wanted.

“She will never be forgotten, not here, we will always remember Crystal,” said parade attendee, Ann Shouse.