Grand Junction & Palisade host Parade of Lights celebrations this weekend
WHAT: Downtown Parade of Lights festival
WHEN: 5-6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 7
WHERE: GJ Main Street
COST: Free; bring chairs and blankets
It’s an evening of sparkling fun, an electric event on Main Street.
In its 30th year, Grand Junction’s annual Parade of Lights returns downtown Saturday, Dec. 7. The main event, with more than 100 lighted floats, starts at 5 p.m. and will last a little more than an hour. Organizers expect to have thousands of attendees line the street for the show, and the theme of the parade is “Christmas Wishes.”
“It’s the biggest parade of the year,” downtown event organizer Aaron Hoffman said, “and it’s a great-looking parade. It’s unique to have a nighttime parade, and individuals go the extra mile to make creative floats.
“There will be more lights than ever, and it’s free to go.”
This year’s parade features one big change, however.
“For 29 years, people have been allowed to park on the parade route and watch from their vehicles,” Hoffman said. “In the interest of safety, city council decided to ban that (for 2013), and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It will be easier to see, safer, and there will be no exhaust fumes.”
Parking is not allowed along the parade route on Main Street between Third and Seventh starting at 3 p.m. Hoffman warned that cars would be towed if left along the street.
“Please park on a side street or in the parking garage at Fourth and Rood and walk over to enjoy the festivities,” a downtown news release said.
To make it an all-day event, Grand Junction’s Winter Festival starts at 11 a.m. on Main Street. It will feature numerous nonprofits selling holiday crafts and treats to raise funds for local causes. Admission is free, and musical entertainment is planned to begin at 12:30 p.m.
Hoffman said organizations involved include Girl Scouts Troop #756, Defy Gravity, Toys for Tots, Thunder Mountain Colorado Living History, Grand Junction Mavs (softball), Palisade Band Parents, Life Tabernacle Youth, Grand Junction Symphony, Orchard Mesa Lions Club, GJ Havoc Softball, Juniper Ridge Community School and many more.
PALISADE’S OLDE FASHIONED CHRISTMAS
On Friday, Dec. 6, Palisade will host its own Parade of Lights after its Christmas tree lighting ceremony around 6 p.m.
According to the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Friday’s celebration will kick off with carolers on Main Street.
Then on Saturday, Dec. 7, Palisade’s Olde Fashioned Christmas event will feature holiday shopping and festivities downtown, including a silent auction.
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Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras lamented his department’s inability to maintain a constant presence downtown during a virtual public forum Monday night.