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Parade of Lights kicks off the holiday season

This wasn’t even the only flamethrower featured in this year’s parade. Photo by Lanell Dove.

Christmas time is here, and Kanab’s Parade of Lights is declaring the season loud and proud - and fiery, to be frank. This year’s parade had 23 entries, and according to the judges, all of the categories were close races for the awards given. According to Kane County’s Lanell Dove, who was one of the event’s organizers, “This year’s parade was amazing! We had a lot of out-of-towners, and it was a tight one deciding who to give the awards to.”

The parade had three award categories: Sun and Sands Motel took Best Use of Theme, with float #4, featuring some of the owner Bryan Hill’s pyrotechnical expertise as a hot air balloonist; Honey’s Marketplace took Best Business, with float #3; and John and Allison Bacialli took Best Family Entry with their “Snoopy and Kanab,” entry #8. The parade also included showings from Old Saint Nick himself, and a few fun inclusions from the county, like the Polar Express. Candy was thrown, hot chocolate was sipped and general merriment ensued.

Broad estimates put the attendance at the parade route around a thousand, with a few hundred more parked in their cards nearby and listening in via radio broadcast. According to Dove, this was a “meager showing compared to what we’re used to, but when more than a thousand is meager, we’re doing okay.”

The festivities also included a lighting of the Christmas tree, with a speech from Kanab’s Mayor Johnson and a countdown with the crowd, a free hot chocolate bar and a towering inflatable Santa Claus which ended up a popular site for photos. Though sources are inconclusive and some presumptive paraphrasing may be necessary, Claus was reported to have stated affirmatively, “Ho ho ho!”

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Mayor Johnson thanked the crowd and the participants for making it such a fun holiday tradition; sentiments echoed by the County staff and volunteers who helped to organize the event. The evening concluded with the lantern launch, with folks gathering together in the parking lot behind the Kanab Center – the event sold about 400 lanterns, the proceeds of which will be given to the Sheriff’s Office to help families in need for Christmas.

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