Old Man Winter has arrived, and to kick off the holiday season Craig residents can enjoy festive lights, caroling and community pride Saturday during the annual Parade of Lights sponsored by the Craig Lions Club.
This "no-frills" event draws hundreds of spectators and more than 15 floats each year, said Loyd DeuPree, parade committee chairman.
And, part of the fun is not knowing ahead of time who will participate.
"There is no registration or rules," DeuPree said. "To enter a float, show up at 5:30 p.m. to get in the line-up."
The parade, which usually lasts about 30 minutes, travels through the downtown area and finishes at Valley View Manor.
"We finish at Valley View because those who are confined or can't get out like to see the goodies, too," DeuPree said.
The Craig Lions club began organizing and sponsoring the event more than 10 years ago as a community event, and the Craig Downtown Business Association offers activities for the whole family before and during the parade.
"We have a tree lighting and caroling beginning at 5 p.m. in the downtown park," said Nadine Daszkiewicz, president of the Downtown Business Association. Mayor Dave DeRose will be on hand to perform the tree lighting, she said.
"The Sweet Adelines Quartet will sing in the park and lead on-lookers in group carols," she said.
Something new this year will be the absence of parked cars in the 500 block of Yampa Avenue and the adjoining first block of Victory Way and a prize for the best sound.
"Those blocks will have no parking during the parade so that people will be able to see the parade unobstructed," Daszkiewicz said.
KRAI FM/55 Country will give a $50 prize to the float with the best music, said Daszkiewicz.
Spectators can expect something great from Scott McKinney, owner of Scott's VW Racing and The Copy Shop.
"I'll be bringing two of my sport stock race cars. You won't miss me," he said. McKinney wouldn't think of not bringing his bugs for the crowds to see. "Everybody loves Herbie the Love Bug," he said.
McKinney is hopeful that seeing the cars will encourage people to come out to the Hayden Speedway when racing begins in May.
A new structure for the parade route will also allow the floats to be more spread out this year, said DeuPree.
"We're going to let them go through Yampa and to the West, so it will make it a little better to have a continuous flow," he said.
The Craig DBA will be entering a float this year also, but they had to make some last minute modifications to their theme.
"We started talking about this in August, and we had a wonderful idea, but they didn't pick the theme we wanted, so we came up with an alternate," Daszkiewicz said.
The DBA has been participating in the parade for at least 10 years and, like most of the others entering a float, Daszkiewicz said they enter because it's become a tradition.