It's time to 'Light Up the Lakes'!: Santa's seeking entries for his Nov. 27 Parade of Lights in DL
Santa Claus is headed back to Detroit Lakes — and he's looking for local residents, businesses and organizations that are willing to brave winter's icy (and sometimes snowy) chill to take part in his annual Grand Parade of Lights, set for Monday, Nov. 27.
"We're encouraging people to get dressed up, decorate a float with lights and come on down," says parade chair Natalie Bly. "It's free to register, and it's open to anyone. The only requirement is that we ask for their entry to be lit up in some way."
Santa will be there to start off the parade promptly at 5:30 p.m., but the lineup of participants gets underway approximately an hour earlier, she added. Parade participants can travel the route by car or other motorized vehicle, by horse-drawn carriage or on horseback, roller skates, roller blades, bicycle, skateboard... or even on foot.
"It's a short route, about six blocks long, so it's fairly easy to walk," she added. "Just make sure to dress warm!"
Though participants are asked to sign up at the Chamber offices no later than this Friday, Nov. 17, "we will take last-minute entries," Bly said. "We won't turn people away for signing up late."
The problem with last-minute registration, however, is that there will be a master of ceremonies announcing each entry, so the script needs to be done as far in advance as possible, to avoid mistakes. "It's a good opportunity to promote your organization or business," Bly said.
In addition to the parade itself, there will be a pre-party taking place downtown, at the intersection of Holmes Street and Washington Avenue, starting at 5 p.m.
"There will be fire pits, Christmas trivia, holiday music, hot chocolate, and a s'mores station," Bly said, noting that the latter was brought back by popular demand.
Holmes Street will be blocked off to motorized traffic during the pre-party and parade, she said.
At approximately 5:15 p.m., the American Cancer Society will be hosting a tree lighting ceremony on the front lawn of the Detroit Lakes Public Library (1000 Washington Ave.), and following the parade, there will be Photos and Wishes with Santa at the Washington Square Mall from 6 to 8 p.m.
The evening marks the official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season in Detroit Lakes, Bly said, though "Light Up the Lakes" holiday happenings actually start in November.
For more information, or to sign-up for the parade, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 218-847-9202 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A regularly updated list of "Light Up the Lakes" events can also be found at the Chamber's website, www.visitdetroitlakes.com.