Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holidays - Parade of Lights

Hello! Last night our town put on its annual Parade of Lights.  Took a few pictures before my hands began freezing and I had to put my gloves back on (this morning's paper said there was a windchill of 10 during the parade - no wonder I felt so cold!)

Unlike the tourist-driven Tulip Time parades, the Parade of Lights seems much more relaxed. Basically anything and everyone is invited to take part in the parade as long as the use of some sort of lights is involved. Thus, besides floats and moving vehicles bedecked in lights, I saw groups of people marching wearing Christmas lights or carrying glow sticks, pushing strollers entwined with Christmas lights, or having their dogs wearing sweaters with lights on them as well. 

About the only thing not wearing any lights was this:

 A couple of reindeer had been brought in from a place near Kalamazoo and were penned up just beyond Kerstmarkt, which was open for business during the parade. 

What would a parade be without an old car in it?

Many local businesses got into the spirit of the parade.

Another older vehicle shown above.

Of course, the Salvation Army band has to play in the parade! There were also several other floats that featured musicians. 

Seems only right that the city-run utility company would have a well-lit truck in the parade! BPW (Board of Public Works) also puts up a nice set of lights in a city park this time of year.

As an aside, I wonder how many cities have their own utility company as opposed to a big company that runs the utilities of several communities? (I know that Lansing, MI has its Board of Water and Light.) I can still recall my amusement when we moved here and experienced our first power outage. I dutifully called the utility's customer service number to report the outage. The guy answered the phone with "Power Plant - Rocky speaking". So yeah, I got to speak with someone actually at the power plant rather than at some customer service office elsewhere!  That power plant is only about 1 1/2 miles from our house, so I don't even bother to call anymore when there's an outage - I figure they will find out right away. 

Now back to the parade:

Local fire truck.

Color guard from one of two marching bands featured in the parade. Some of the musicians had wound Christmas lights around their instruments, but unfortunately the picture I took of that didn't come out well. 

 I took this picture of a float at rest after the parade was over. 

Well, just a few of the some 75 entries that made up the parade. It was a cold yet very festive event!