As the street lights on Main were turned off, local EMTs marshaled in the 25 brilliantly lit floats Friday, Nov. 29, at Perham's 19th Holiday Parade of Lights.
In the 28-degree weather, parade-goes watched from the street and from their cars as Christmas scenes made of lights floated down Main.
"The weather was decent compared to past years," said Tyler Karumwiede, a parade organizer. "And thank you to United Community Bank for sponsoring, the helper who helped me, and to everyone who came out."
To kick off the holiday season, United Community Bank sponsored the parade, with participants started lining up at 5 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church to start their route at 5:30. Turning off Sixth Ave Southwest, the parade made its magical journey down Main Street. The Grinch passed by as people passed out candy, before a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer.
For snowbirds Jim and Linda Dissmore, watching the parade with their family is the traditional kick-off to their Christmas season. The Dissmore family has been coming to watch the parade for the last 10 years, as they always celebrate Christmas with their family the weekend of Thanksgiving before they leave for Florida for the winter.
Float entries were judged and voted on by three volunteer judges, according to Dave Howey, from The Lakes 99.5. Howey announced this year's float awards at The Cactus following the parade:
- Taking home first place, the Santa's Choice award, was Mike's Lock and Key, for their float of Santa Claus and his reindeer.
- In second place, the Mrs. Claus Choice Award, was RL Miller Construction -- who completely sided a shed as they went down the parade route.
- The winner of the third-place Elves Choice Award was the City of Perham.
The parade was followed by the Kids Christmas Kick-off Party at The Cactus as the awards took place.