Saturday’s downtown Parade of Lights puts community in the Christmas spirit
As temperatures dropped and darkness engulfed Craig and Moffat County, residents turned out in waves Saturday night for the annual Parade of Lights.
This year’s parade, called “A Christmas Parade for Everyone,” started at Craig Middle School and worked its way south along Yampa Avenue, before turning west to head towards the finish at the old Safeway building.
The parade was organized by Karen Brown, manager of the Community Budget Center, as well as other local business owners. In addition to spreading Christmas cheer, $200 in spree dollars was up for grabs, as well as the “Best of Parade” trophy.
According to Kandee Dilldine, owner of K S Kreations, 14 floats were expected to participate in the parade. She said that the goal of having the prize money be in spree bucks was to keep money in the community.
“The money for the prizes come from local businesses and so we want to make sure it is spent locally, since you can only spend spree dollars locally,” Dilldine said.
The floats that were in the parade were sponsored by various different businesses around Craig, including Cook Chevrolet and Coal Advocates, who even built a Polar Express float.
Moffat County Search and Rescue also made an appearance in Saturday’s parade, showing off a snow rescue truck. People in various Christmas outfits also made an appearance, including Thunder Rolls Bowling Alley, which had a float followed by a person in a bowling pin costume.
The parade culminated in traditional fashion with the Clydesdale horses pulling Santa and Mrs. Claus in their sleigh. The appearance of the Clauses was a fan favorite with the crowd assembled on the corner of W. Victory Way and Yampa Avenue cheering as they made their appearance.
Lisa Bolton, a resident of Craig said the Santa Clause float was her favorite of all of the floats.
“My favorite float was probably Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and then the Polar Express,” added Karlie George.
The parade was a time for families to come together with George speaking about how she was unable to attend the parade last year, so this year was special.
“It was really nice to celebrate this with our family, because last year we had just moved to Craig and so we weren’t able partake in the event,” George said. “So, to come down with my son and see his face light up and see the Clydesdale horses at the end was really, really sweet.”
Bolton also noted that this parade was more packed than last year in terms of floats.
“This one was really nice,” Bolton said. “There seemed to be more floats this year, to me, than maybe last year.”
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After 10 years in the Yampa Valley, the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, which is dedicated to the conservation and protection of greater Sandhill cranes in Colorado, has much to celebrate in addition to its anniversary.