9News Parade of Lights Gets Denver an Early Start to Christmas


Posted Thu, Dec 15, 2011

Christmas lights illuminate Denver's Civic Center Building. Photos by LeAndra Fagen

DENVER — The Mile-High City’s Parade of Lights stepped off smartly the evening of Dec. 2nd and 3rd to the delight of tens and thousands of excited fans lining Bannock Street from 14th Avenue all the way to Civic Center Park.

Doors were open to audiences both old and young and those prepared for the cold weather, and the few who preferred to leave their winter coats and mittens behind.

“I enjoyed the parade a lot more this year,” said veteran spectator Meredith. “I learned my lesson a couple years back when I left the parade early because it was so cold. I packed an extra coat, and wore leggings under my jeans to stay extra warm and my friends made tons of hot chocolate to keep us warm during the entire parade.”

The Parade of Lights is hosted by 9News, American Furniture Warehouse and GO Automotive Group. If you missed the parade, it will be rebroadcasted for viewers Dec. 10th at 6 p.m. on 9News, Dec. 17th at 5 P.M. on MY20, and 9News will show a final broadcast of the parade on Christmas Eve at 10:30 p.m.

“I attend the parade every year but I also play it on my television on Christmas Eve to keep my children involved with the whole Christmas feeling,” said Maria Gonzales.

As the parade was getting set to go the crowd enjoyed hot chocolate and apple cider vendors, Christmas music, and tons of lights that lit up all of downtown Denver. Access to the parade provided delightful Colorado views. Crowds of people took the Light rail which brought them right to the heart of Denver. There people enjoyed Christmas decorations, delicious restaurants, ice skating, breweries, unique shops, Christmas music, galleries, and to make the season bright, carriage rides

“I have never seen so much going on in one place. The activities were wonderful all that was missing was the Colorado snow,” said Roger a visitor to Denver.

The parade offered a variety of floats such as: The carousel float, Christmas story float, clock tower float, gingerbread house float, jewelry box float, magic mountain float, ship of lights float, and finally what children of all ages waited for, the Santa Claus float. Following the assortment of floats was huge balloon characters such as Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and a variety of local school bands. All while the parade took place, there was never a quiet moment because Christmas tunes played in the back ground, people sang cheerfully, and families laughed and viewed in awe.

“It’s the kind of event you grow up going to then you take your children and so on,” according to review on yelp.com

Since the parade is free for anyone donations are asked for but not required. These donations go to help cover the coast of the parade that Corporations don’t cover. You can offer your support by donating $10 to Merry Munchkins, $25 to Handy Helpers, $50 to Eager Elves $100 to Reigning Reindeer, and $500 to Santa’s Stars.

It was a holly, jolly Parade of Lights show. --- Santa

Not only did sponsors and donations make the parade possible but hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers submitted their request no later than Oct 30th. Anyone 11 years old and up can volunteer each year through www.denverparadeoflights.com by completing the form and be prepared to hear a call back no later than November 25th for your participation. There is no limit because each year the parade gets bigger, the crowd grows larger and the amount of characters and participants in the parade makes the parade even grander!

If your love Christmas and can’t wait to celebrate in the Spirit of Christmas the parade of lights is the place to start.

“You definitely get the full on effect of Christmas,” said Hannah a volunteer at the parade.

If Christmas lights, music, carolers, carriage rides, hot chocolate, reindeer, and Santa Clause doesn’t get you in the early Christmas mood what can? Don’t forget

to tune into 9News if you missed the parade or want to re-watch it.

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