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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lighted Christmas Parade is Saturday

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The 13th Annual Earl Utesch Children's Lighted Christmas Parade will light up Central Avenue Saturday evening.

The thousands of lights on floats will provide Christmas delights for young and old alike.

The 6 p.m. parade starts at Eighth Street and Central Avenue South, and travels north on Central Avenue through the downtown area and ends at Fourth Avenue Northwest.

Dick Masuen, along with Stan Culley and Ken Plueger, have been busy since July making sure all the lights and motors are in working order.

"This year we worked on more maintenance than putting together a new float," Masuen said.

New speakers have been installed on each side of the animated floats, allowing those along the parade route to hear the music better.

Masuen asks volunteer drivers to be at the former highway shed on Business 75 North by 4 p.m. to pick up the float they will be pulling.

"We could use an extra driver or two yet," said Masuen.

Once they have the float hooked up, a tape player will be connected to a generator and the float is ready to go with lights and music.

Anyone who wishes to enter a float in the parade is asked to come to Eighth Street South at 5 p.m. to join the line-up.

The parade will feature animated floats, musical entries, horses, and floats of all sizes, all lighted to fit the parade theme.

Entries come from businesses, 4-H groups, churches, service clubs and families.

Parade participants wishing to distribute candy should not throw candy from the float, due to safety concerns in the darkness.

The parade, named for the late Earl Utesch and his love for children, debuted on the day of Utesch's funeral in 1997 with 26 participants, and through the years has grown to more than 70 lighted entries.

Also on Saturday, Pioneer Village Christmas Wonderland opens for the first of two weekends. Hours are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, 12 and 13.

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