Move over, Rudolph. Plenty of bright lights will be on display this weekend as the City of Columbus’ Parks and Recreation Department hosts its second annual Holiday Parade.
Set to take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, the Holiday Parade is free to the community and will see far more than a dozen participants show off their rides throughout downtown Columbus. It all leads up to the grand finale of Santa Claus greeting attendees. The parade route will be on 13th Street from 30th Avenue down to 24th Avenue.
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: This map shows the route of the 2023 Holiday Parade.)
“We have beautiful Frankfort Square and so many other parks throughout Columbus, so we hope this can be a way to remind people that Parks and Recreation is still very active in the colder months,” City Parks and Recreation Director Betsy Eckhardt said. “We also want to bring some attention to downtown and the Square.”
Collaboration is key to making the parade successful. Among the entities participating is the Columbus Fire Department, which will bring some of its vehicles (including its newest fire truck) for people to see. The Columbus Police Department is another City agency that will be on hand interacting with attendees and showing off their rides. CPD will also be collecting gifts for youth from attendees for its "Stuff the Cruiser" initiative that will see officers take those gift donations and distribute them to area youth organizations.
Of course, Parks and Rec invited community businesses and agencies to join the fun. As of Wednesday morning, Havoc Softball, Platte County 4-H, Lakeview Community Schools Marching Band, Club Scout Pack 212, Dale’s Roofing & Insulation, Bake-Up Artist, Lynette’s Dance Studio, ABATE of Nebraska District 4, Word of Life Church, U.S. Speedway 30, Center for Survivors Revolution, Barb’s School of Dance, Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, Axe in the Box, Columbus Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and the Columbus Area Antique Fire Apparatus Preservation Society are expected to participate. The latter will be giving Mr. Claus a lift through downtown.
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: Santa Claus greets Columbus residents along 13th Street during the 2022 City of Columbus Holiday Parade..)
“We have had some different and even more participants sign up, so we’re excited about that,” Eckhardt said.
The parade was initially held in late November last year, but City staff decided to move it into December so that it was right in the middle of the holiday season.
“We’ve gotten a lot of fantastic feedback from the community,” Eckhardt said. “Lots of people are excited to participate and share in the excitement, so we’re hoping people show up and have a good time. We want it to be a nice and fun event for people of all ages.”
If you’re interested in participating in the parade, contact Eckhardt at email@example.com.
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