Lights shimmer as divinely decorated floats make their way down the street as the Greeley Lights the Night Parade kicks off the Northern Colorado’s holiday. The parade began in 1998 when the Greeley Jaycees -- a leadership training and civic organization for young people -- desired to create a holiday event that gave back to the community. The parade makes its way through downtown Greeley and concludes with the lighting up Lincoln Park. After the park is lit, hot chocolate and treats are available, as well as an opportunity to see Santa Claus. Being held shortly after Thanksgiving, the parade is often the first-holiday event of the season for many families. “There’s such a wonderful Christmas spirit that is cultivated when you are outside in the cold and feeling the spirit of Christmas alongside your whole community,” explains Michelle Kempema, President of the Visit Greeley Board. Part of what makes the parade special is that it is made up of, sponsored by, and attended by Greeley residents, many of whom have been raised going to the parade and continued the tradition with their own children. Those at Visit Greeley hope that the Greeley’s Lights the Night Parade continues in the years to come, allowing the holiday season to begin alongside Greeley neighbors and friends.
Article by Christi Norris
Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle