Parade of Lights returns to Detroit Lakes
The downtown parade features well-lit floats and people who literally shine bright. There will also be holiday festivities afoot, such as Christmas music and holiday treats, and many stores are extending their hours.
DETROIT LAKES — Shortly after families and friends have their Thanksgiving Day fill of feast and merriment, Detroit Lakes will keep the spirit of the holiday season burning bright on Monday, Nov. 28 from 5-8 p.m.
“The Parade of Lights is back,” said Carrie Johnston, president of the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The last one we had was in 2019.”
She divulged, the word on the street is that the “Big Man” Mr. Claus may make an appearance at the holiday kick-off event that has been on hiatus the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those unfamiliar with the Parade of Lights, Johnston explained the downtown parade features well-lit floats and people who literally shine bright. There will also be holiday festivities afoot, such as Christmas music and holiday treats, and many stores are extending their hours.
Any business, organization or group of people interested in joining the parade should contact the chamber by Tuesday, Nov. 22. There is no fee to enter the parade.
“We will also have emcees that announce all the floats,” Johnston said.
Those in the parade will exit the Holy Rosary Catholic School and Zion Lutheran Church parking lots at 5:30 p.m. They will travel north on Lake Avenue, take a right onto Frazee Street and turn north once more at Washington Avenue. The route was shortened so more walkers felt comfortable joining the parade, she said.
“Our only requirement is that everything (or everyone) should be lit up,” Johnston said. “We turn off the street lights to make it nice and dark.”
When the parade originally began in 1996, most of the parade entrants were floats, and generators were used to keep lights aglow. Now, with LED and battery-operated lights and glow sticks, lighting up the night became easier and more accessible.
Throughout the years of the event, volunteers and sponsors help in many ways. Johnston applauded past and current sponsors and noted Lakeshirts is partnering with the chamber this year to provide manpower to coordinate parade participants, barricade intersections and tackle other tasks that make for an organized and safe event.
Johnston also thanked the city and its many departments for helping with the event as needed, and supporting it.