Parade of Lights kicks off Christmas in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Parade of Lights kicks off Christmas in Craig

Noelle Leavitt Riley

The Northwest Colorado Chapter of the Parrotheads boasted one of the most ornate and detailed floats at the 2014 Parade of Lights in Craig.

Dozens of local businesses and nonprofits lit up Yampa Avenue and Victory Way on Saturday night for the annual Parade of Lights, marking the beginning of the Christmas season in Craig.

"This is just beautiful — the community coming together after Thanksgiving," said local business owner Pam Foster.

The weather was far from frightful as horses, fire trucks and trailers decorated with ornate Christmas lights slowly moved along the streets for hundreds of paradegoers.

Not a flake of snow was in sight, and although a slight chill filled the air, spirits were snug with festive humor.

To help keep people warm, the nonprofit Love INC served hot cocoa and chili to attendees in an effort to raise awareness for Craig's homeless community.

"It's a good turn out this year," said Pat Jones, executive director for Love INC, also known as Love In The Name Of Christ. "This is the best parade."

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Children lined the streets in hopes of grabbing candy from those walking alongside the floats who were tossing sweet treats to the crowd.

"Christmas is especially important to a small town," said Kailee Greenwood, who watched the parade with her young son Carson. "It was nice to see my school represented and my church."

Greenwood is getting a degree in preschool education at Colorado Northwestern Community College, and the school had a float made of building blocks that said "Merry Christmas."

Several churches, including Calvary Baptist, built floats for the parade.

The Downtown Business Association organized the event, which started at Craig Middle School and ended at Centennial Mall on Victory Way.

Reach Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com.