Dozens of entries lighted up like -- well, like a big Christmas parade -- and a crowd of excited people lining Main Street to share the holiday spirit marked a successful Parade of Lights in Cedaredge last Saturday.
The parade entry that best expressed the event's theme of "A Cowboy Christmas" was created by the Best of the West 4-H Club. The club was awarded the grand prize in that category by the Cedaredge ARea Chamber of Commerce.
Another local entry from the Excess Balloon Team earned the "Most Unique" award from contest judges. The team's entry was a trailer-mounted balloon gondola that with a huge flash and roar shot giant flames skyward from its gas-fueled inflator as it made its way along Main Street. The entry provided some real parade excitement for spectators.
The "Most Memorable" prize for this year's parade went to the Thunder Mountain Wheelers ATV group. Its impressive and very cool parade display included an abundantly lighted trailer followed by 18 ATVs proceeding with military-like precision, each one brightly lit and decorated.
Making another crowd-pleasing appearance in the parade this year was the U.S. Forest Service's vintage GMUG Chevy dually work truck. The completely restored classic was brightly lit up for the parade. The local forest managers attending noted that everyone in their agency takes great pride in the opportunity to participate with the Parade of Lights and demonstrate that the Forest Service feels itself to be a strong part of the community.
The parade included many great, creative entries that took a lot of planning and work, and the judges wondered if the public would understand how truly difficult it was to pick winners.
The parade was the big attraction of a day filled with activities:
• The Methodist Church homemade chili and baked potato dinner at the Masonic Hall. The event included a kids' winter coat and jacket giveaway;
• An appearance by Santa Claus at the Chamber of Commerce office;
• A demonstration of woodworking craft by Walt Anderson at Munson's Main Street Gallery;
• A "Living Christmas Card" at the Methodist Women's Thrift Shop including a display of expert gingerbread house decorating skills;
• The grand opening of Impressionz next door to Gazebo Florist. Impressionz is an artists' co-op gallery that is part of a larger vision for the community to develop a "creative district."
• Town offices were open and elected officials, staff and members of Surface Creek Valley Lions Club served warm, locally made apple cider to help chase whatever winter chills might have occurred on a nearly perfect December evening.