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Lights and floats will light up Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes Nov. 26, as Santa's Grand Parade of Lights rolls north through downtown. Photo by - Brian Basham

Santa's Grand Parade of Lights set for Nov. 26 in Detroit Lakes

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Santa's Grand Parade of Lights set for Nov. 26 in Detroit Lakes
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Every year, just as the post-Thanksgiving dinner torpor and Black Friday frenzy have begun to fade into memory, Detroit Lakes residents prepare to kick off the Christmas season with Santa's Grand Parade of Lights.


Approximately 25-30 floats and other parade participants will wind their way through downtown Detroit Lakes on Monday, Nov. 26, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The lineup will get underway at 4:30 p.m. in the parking lots of Holy Rosary and Zion Lutheran churches on Lake Avenue.

"The Lions are helping to coordinate the lineup at the staging area this year," said Jill Mack, who is the parade chair this year. "That's a big job, so I'd like to give a big thank you to them."

With good weather anticipated for this year's parade, "we'll probably end up getting a few last-minute entries," she added. "We do have a few first-time entries this year, from BTD (Manufacturing), ULTRA Snowmobile Club, Miss Moorhead and the Miss Red River Valley Outstanding Teen."

But before Santa hops in his sleigh to begin the parade, there will be a "pre-party" at the corner of Holmes Street and Washington Avenue, starting at 5 p.m.

"We'll have an announcer (who will also be the emcee for the parade) and a sound system playing Christmas music," Mack said. "There will be beverages and treats provided by (pre-party sponsors) La Barista, a trivia game and fire pits.

"Bremer Bank, the parade sponsor, will be providing some prizes for the trivia game, and you can register at the pre-party for some Chamber Bucks that will be given away at the end of the parade."

At 6:30 p.m., inside the Washington Square Mall, there will be a drawing for "Merry Money," which can be used to purchase items from Light Up the Lakes holiday promotion sponsors -- who will be providing a few other prizes for the drawing as well.

Best of all, Mack said, the pre-party, parade and prize giveaways are being offered free of charge.

Also that night at 6 p.m., the American Cancer Society will be hosting a tree lighting ceremony in front of the Detroit Lakes Public Library, and back at the mall, the Masons will be hosting "Photos & Wishes with Santa" from 6 to 8 p.m., with proceeds to benefit area families in need.

The Grand Parade of Lights is the official kickoff to a month's worth of "Light Up the Lakes" holiday festivities in Detroit Lakes. For a complete list, visit the DL Regional Chamber of Commerce website at and click on the "Light Up the Lakes" link on the home page.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 14 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 844-1454