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Holiday season lights up with parade

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Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus greet parade watchers lined up along Main Street. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

From Grinches to cheerleaders, drag racers to mopeds, from nativity scenes to classic fire engines to Santa Claus, the 2017 Electric Light Parade brought holiday spirit and colorful, sometimes elaborate, displays of holiday decorations to people gathered along Main Street Saturday night.

The Church on the Move float brings puppets, a grinch, tons of lights and music to the streets as one of 38 entries in Saturday’s Electric Light Parade organized by MainStreet Roswell. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

“We do this for the community, to help start the holiday season and to have a reason to be together,” said Kathy Lay, executive director of MainStreet Roswell, which organizes and sponsors the free parade.

Lasting about an hour and held in mild temperatures, the parade drew crowds of people from College Boulevard to Third Street.

The event also encourages people to enjoy the downtown area, Lay said, with musicians performing in downtown Reischman Park prior to the 6 p.m parade start and some local shops staying open.

The parade featured 38 entries, some of which included several vehicles or participants. This year, the theme was the “Reason for the Season.”

“Everybody has their own reason for why the season is special to them,” Lay said. “For some, it is about Kwanza. For some, it’s Christmas. For others, it’s Hanukkah. For some people, it is about shopping and parties. For others, it is about their family and friends or goodwill. I even had one person tell me that they liked the season because they had time off work which gave them more time for drag racing.”

Parade award winners, according to Lay, were Calvary Baptist Church for the entry that best captured the theme, Church on the Move for the best use of color, U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the best use of lights and the Mountain View Mustangs cheerleaders for best crowd appeal.