Weather Forecast


Santa's Parade is on Monday

Keeping warm during a past parade with the help of a bonfire. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Every year, just as the Thanksgiving feasting and Black Friday shopping frenzy have faded into memory for another year, the city of Detroit Lakes officially kicks off a month of holiday celebrations with Santa’s Grand Parade of Lights.

This year’s parade is set to step off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2, with the pre-parade festivities getting underway a half hour earlier.

La Barista will be hosting the Parade Party at the corner of Holmes Street and Washington Avenue, starting at 5 p.m. There will be a holiday trivia contest (with prizes provided by Bremer Bank), Christmas music, hot cider and cookies, as well as fire pits to warm frigid hands and feet before the parade gets underway.

Those attending the pre-parade festivities will also have a chance to register for a Chamber Bucks drawing, with the winner to be announced at the conclusion of the parade.

Over in front of the Detroit Lakes Library, the American Cancer Society will once again hold its “Light Up A Life” tree lighting ceremony at 5:15 p.m.

“We’ll have a short little ceremony, someone will say a few words, there’ll be some Christmas carol singing and then we’ll flip the switch,” said Lori Bachmann, community relations chair for the American Cancer Society’s Midwest Division.

Each year, the lighted floats and other bedazzled parade participants typically line up in the parking lots of Holy Rosary and Zion Lutheran churches about a half hour prior to step-off.

“The Lions are once again helping to coordinate the lineup at the staging area this year,” said parade chair Jill Mack. “They have been a huge help in making the lineup process a much smoother one, so I’d like to give a big thank you to them.”

With the final lineup scheduled to be set sometime today (Wednesday), Mack said that there is a nice mix of new and familiar participants this year.

“We’re still taking registrations today (Tuesday), so we will have a final count on Wednesday,” she added, noting that so far, the numbers are lining up pretty closely with previous years, when anywhere from two to three dozen entries have been registered.

The Shrine Color Guard will start things off, followed closely by Santa Claus himself, who will travel at the front of the procession through downtown Detroit Lakes before alighting at the Washington Square Mall, where he will be available for “Photos and Wishes With Santa” from 6 to 8 p.m.

There will also be a “Merry Money” prize drawing at the mall that evening, with the opportunity to win $5 cash or a gift certificate from participating Light Up the Lakes holiday sponsors.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454