Thousands turn out for parade in ghost town

Posted at 2:34 PM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 15:34:49-05

PICHER, Okla. (AP) -- Thousands of people returned to an Oklahoma ghost town for a Christmas parade years after its residents moved out of the mined-out area.

The Joplin Globe reports Saturday's "Coming Home for Christmas" parade featured dozens of entries and drew many former residents who grew up in the town.

Picher was the center of the EPA's Tar Creek Superfund site, a 40-square-mile area that also included portions of Missouri and Kansas and was one of the world's most productive regions for lead and zinc.

Polluted lead waste, sinkholes and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that found dozens of homes in peril of collapsing into old mines prompted a federal buyout.

Most residents had left by 2009, but some former residents still return each year for a school reunion.