Burlington’s Lighted Holiday Parade set for Saturday evening and will include detour around Tama building.
At last, a Facebook event with a great response: our hometown Christmas parade.
Downtown Burlington’s 25th annual Lighted Holiday Parade takes place this Saturday evening, and if Facebook can be believed, there will be hordes of kids and moms and dads lining Jefferson Street.
Presented by Downtown Partners, Inc., and sponsored by Pritchard Broadcasting, the Lighted Holiday Parade begins at 5 p.m.
The timing is perfect: the sun will set at the west end of Jefferson at 4:41 p.m. The weather looks like it will cooperate as well, with evening temperatures in the high 40s.
Facebook said on Monday afternoon that out of the 218 folks who DPI had invited so far, 793 were planning on being there.
That's a percentage of return any vendor, performer or venue would love to see.
Additionally, 5,236 had already indicated they were interested.
"The Lighted Holiday Parade is one of the biggest crowd draws downtown, and it's still going strong after 25 years," DPI executive director Steve Frevert said.
The parade will once again roll down Jefferson Street, but Frevert said due to the street closure around the Tama Building between 3rd and 4th streets, this year’s parade route is altered a bit, essentially detouring around the 300 block of Jefferson where the Tama awaits its future.
The parade will begin at 8th and Jefferson and proceed east on Jefferson, turn south on 4th, east on Valley, north on Third and east again back onto Jefferson.
"People can watch from anywhere along the route, but I recommend keeping back from where the entries turn the corners," Frevert advised.
Downtown Partners chose the Burlington Fire Department to be this year's Grand Marshals, honoring their service in protecting life and property during the Tama fire last August. And the evergreen radioman Steve Hexom of KBUR is again the on-street announcer. A jury of float judges from the Optimist Club of Burlington will award cash prizes for the top three entries.
Yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus on hand.
The parade's theme this year is “Winter Wonderland” and Frevert said dozens of floats and entries are participating.
Here are a few things to watch for:
The Burlington Model Railroad Engineers Society will be riding the road on a 35-foot, 5-car train;
Burlington Memorial Auditorium's float features a live band with Donna, Donny and Luke DeJaynes with David Schwarm.
Walker Outdoor Services and the Washington have teamed up to present popular rock band Leaving Abbey performing on their float;
Big River Resources rolls out a lighted sleigh with kids costumed as reindeer, doing typical reindeer things such as skiing, sledding, skating, and so on;
The Broom Closet/Healing Haven — think massage therapy, reflexology, Reiki energy healing, chakras and detox foot baths — incorporates the theme of the 2001 American-Canadian computer-animated Christmas film, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys," a don't-miss for kids;
The Myers Tree Farm float is a vintage truck and camper with a winter snow scene including fresh-cut tree.
And yes, Virginia, there will be a traditional manger scene courtesy of Burlington Baptist Church.
"We absolutely could not present this parade without our small but dedicated group of volunteers who handle the staging and logistics, as well as Des Moines County's CERT volunteers who keep the parade route clear and safe," Frevert said.
After the parade, be sure to do a little shop browsing in the Tama block of Jefferson — those retailers haven't had normal shopping traffic since their street was closed in August.
For more information, call Downtown Partners at (319) 752-6365 or visit www.greaterburlington.com.