An Elvis impersonator waves to the crowd from Wyman Museum’s float Saturday night during the Parade of Lights in downtown Craig.  The museum’s float won first place in the float contest.

Photo by Michelle Balleck

An Elvis impersonator waves to the crowd from Wyman Museum’s float Saturday night during the Parade of Lights in downtown Craig. The museum’s float won first place in the float contest.

Annual Parade of Lights signals beginning of holiday season in Moffat County

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving weekend in Craig without the sirens, twinkling lights and special visit from a certain North Pole guest as part of the annual Parade of Lights.

“It was awesome, as always,” said Ed Corriveau, a lifelong Craig resident who watched the parade stroll through downtown Saturday night. “Cold and a little shorter than in the past, but awesome.”

Corriveau and his sister, Heather, said they have been going to the Parade of Lights for more than 30 years, but this was the first year there wasn’t a defined theme for the annual event sponsored by the Craig Lions Club and Downtown Business Association.

Kristi Shepherd, a Lions Club member and parade chairwoman for the eighth straight year, explained the “Pick Your Own Christmas” theme.

“I decided to let people go with their imaginations,” Shepherd said. “To let people do whatever their heart says.”

Six organizations participated in this year’s parade, including Wyman Museum, the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrot Heads, Girl Scouts, Bear Valley Towing & Auto Repair out of Hayden, Cavalry Baptist Church and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

They were joined by Moffat County Search & Rescue, Craig Police Department cruisers, all five trucks from the Craig Fire/Rescue and a pair of ambulances from The Memorial Hospital.

Shepherd said she had a difficult time choosing a favorite float.

“It was a tough choice between the museum and the Parrot Heads,” she said. “If I had to choose, I’d probably say Wyman Museum made the best float.”

DBA judges agreed and awarded Wyman Museum with first prize for best float.

Nicky Boulger, of Wyman Museum, said she and her family have participated in Parade of Lights for the last six years.

Although they have come close in the past, taking second place in last year’s float contest, this was the first time Wyman Museum took home the crown.

“This was a family effort and I have to say that I have the best boss in the world,” Boulger said. “For someone to even agree to put a piano on a float is great.”

Boulger said she struggled with this year’s theme, but as with all great ideas, her inspiration for the float came in the middle of the night.

“The parade theme was pretty broad,” Boulger said. “It was just one of those things. I was lying in bed at two in the morning and said to myself, ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.’

“That’s where it came from.”

Boulger said it took her family two weeks to build the float. They were awarded a three-foot tall traveling trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights for their efforts.

“This is something we do every year,” Boulger said. “This was the first year we came in first, which is really fun.”

Although Parade of Lights is the official start of the Christmas season in Craig, it also marks the beginning of the Lions Club annual Christmas tree sales drive.

Shepherd said proceeds from Christmas tree sales fund eye exams and eyeglasses for children and senior citizens in the community.

The Lions Club Christmas tree lot is located between Wendy’s and McDonald’s on West Victory Way.

“We have Douglas Firs, Frasier Firs, Scotch Pines and Cannon Firs,” Shepherd said. “They run from $35 to $80.”

But, trees are limited.

Shepherd said the Lions Club only trucked in 100 trees as opposed to the usual 250.

She said the lot will remain open for as long as there are trees to sell. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

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