Lights, cameras, action at Saturday's parade

Christmas is coming quickly, but Craig's annual parade of lights Saturday night is a sure way to get into the holiday spirit.

For more than the past two decades, residents and business owners have headed a caravan of lighted floats through city streets.

Wendy Buckley plans to take her family to the event this year.

The opportunity for being out at night and watching the lighted floats pass is a thrill for her three children.

"It's definitely a time for the family to get together," she said.

"After we look at all the lights, we go home and put up more."

There's still time for people to register and make floats for the parade. About 14 applications have been submitted, but Downtown Business Association member Carol Wilson expects more applications to trickle in.

"What a great way to work off Thanksgiving by making a float," she said. "Lots of folks decide at the last minute to make a float."

The parade starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at the park on Seventh and Breeze streets. Judging begins at 4:45.

The event hosted by the Craig Lions Club provides cash prizes for the top three winners, with a first-place award of $250 in Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks that can be spent in Craig. The first-place winner also will receive a trophy. Second- and third-place prizes are $150 and $100, respectively.

"We're hoping that the awards increase participation," Wilson said. "It is a lot of work to make floats. "

Wilson wouldn't disclose the theme of the DBA's float but promised a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Other registered floats comprise a mix of businesses, residents and service organizations.

Depending on the weather and the number of floats, the procession could last from 20 minutes to an hour, she said.

The procession begins at the Breeze Street park before turning south on Yampa Avenue. It will head west on Victory Way before turning north on Ledford Street, giving residents of Sunset Meadows a chance to view the scene.

As a past float rider, Wilson can attest to the radiant faces of children and families.

"They don't care if it's cold," she said.

"It's just fun thing to participate in."

Buckley agrees.

Saturday's parade is a glimpse of her favorite part of the holiday season -- watching the looks on her children's excited faces Christmas morning.

"It's almost as fun as when I was a kid," she said.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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