Call out for parade floats, volunteers

Kids, and those young at heart, don’t have long to wait for Santa Claus to come to town as the local Business Improvement Association will be holding the 49th-annual “Parade of Lights” on Saturday, Nov. 25.
BIA co-ordinator Patti Anderson said yesterday that she’s on the lookout for floats and volunteers for the festive parade.
“We’ve had quite a few responses already [for float entries],” she noted, adding she’d love to see the parade sporting as many participants as possible.
Anderson said there’s no specific theme this year other than “Parade of Lights,” which, as the name implies, encourages participants to use lots of lights on their floats for the evening parade.
As well, those who have floats are encouraged not to throw candy out to parade-watchers, and also keep in mind that no Santa Clauses are needed as jolly St. Nick already has been arranged for.
Anderson added International Falls will be holding its Santa Claus parade on Friday, Nov. 24, and that she’ll be trying to get floats from that parade to cross the bridge and make the one here that much bigger and better.
Those interested in entering a float should call Anderson at 274-7502. Leave a message if she’s not there.
“I’m also looking for volunteers. If anybody wants to volunteer, I need them for a couple different jobs,” Anderson added. “I need people to help out with the parade lineup.
“I also need two volunteers to dress in elf costumes and walk beside the floats.
“And I need some volunteers who will agree to be downtown for the event and make sure the streets are closed, which mainly involves setting up the barricades and taking them down,” she added.
The parade will be much the same as previous years. It will start at 6 p.m. at the Shevlin wood yard, but those entering floats should show up prior to that so judges can choose the prize winners.
The route will follow Scott Street to Central Avenue.
Walking with the floats along the way will be volunteers collecting “Mitts for Kids,” as well as items for the Salvation Army food bank.
After the parade, the public is encouraged to drop by the New Beginnings Fellowship (beside Lakeview Trailer Court) from 7-8:30 p.m. for free Christmas refreshments.
The festive spirit is expected to stay alive on Scott Street leading up to Christmas. For instance, Anderson noted another downtown holiday tradition—“Lunch with Santa”—is scheduled for the following Saturday (Dec. 2).
She’s also in the process of trying to get businesses to stay open late for evening shopping during the holiday season.