December 6, 2013

Lighted Christmas Parade brings out spirit of the season

The Oskaloosa Herald


It was a cold night for a parade, but the Christmas spirit was alive and well for the 26th annual Main Street Lighted Christmas Parade through downtown Oskaloosa.

Although the thermometer read 18 degrees, some people braved the elements to stan on the sidewalk to watch the parade go by. Others, sat in cars to watch the spectacle while more people stood inside store fronts to watch the parade in warmth.

Oskaloosa Chamber Events Coordinator Karen Hafner said the parade had about 66 entries this year.

“It's too bad it's so cold,” Hafner said.

Hafner said the Chamber office received many telephone calls about watching the parade from store fronts.

“There's a lot of stores with people sitting inside,” she said.

There were a mix of Oskaloosa residents and people from out of town who stood outside Thursday to watch the parade.

Christine Hadley, of Delta, watched the parade from the sidewalk. She wrapped a blanket around herself and a friend's daughter to keep warm.

This year is Hadley's first time at the parade.

“I've always wanted to come and this happened to be the year,” she said.

Hadley said the cold was not a deterrent to watching the parade from the sidewalk.

“Dress warm,” she said.

Dan Sytsma, of Pella, came to town to watch the parade for the second time.

“It's not too cold,” he said. “I've been colder.”

Sytsma thought the parade was “nice — just like last year.”

“The kids enjoy it. They get out of the house,” he added.

Elizabeth De Jong and her friends from the Scott-U-Need-Us 4-H Club sold hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and treats to people on the sidewalks.

De Jong said the 4-H'ers have been doing pretty good business during the parade.

“It's cold,” she said.

De Jong said she liked the parade.

“It's been pretty good,” she said.

Scott Jack, of Montezuma, saw the parade for the first time Thursday. Jack said he wanted to see the Christmas lights.

“It's good. It's pretty neat,” he said. “There's a lot more lights than I thought there'd be.”

Jack said he'd be back next year to watch the parade again.

Dave and Jan Batman, of Oskaloosa, have seen a lot of Lighted Christmas parades.

“We've seen everyone,” Dave said.

“We're bearing the weather to have a good time,” Jan added.

Jan said her favorite part of the parade is “the lighted floats.”

Jan said the cold wasn't so bad Thursday. She remembered a parade where it was so icy that parade floats “slip-slided around.”

Friday night, the “Carols, Candles and Cocoa Gathering Awards Ceremony” will be held at the city square at 6 p.m.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com