Holly Days Nighttime Parade Gets “Raising Reviews”

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GALESBURG – An estimated 3,000 people witnessed the rescue of Santa Claus on Sunday and Holly Days Parade along Main Street in downtown Galesburg, the city’s premier nighttime parade.

The events started with relatively mild temperatures in the mid-1940s and ended with a light downpour.

Greg Saul of Galesburg shoots flames from the basket of his hot air balloon as he boards a float during the Holly Days Parade at the Galesburg Downtown Community Partnership on Sunday. For more photos and videos, visit galesburg.com.

“Despite the change in tradition and the weather threat, our community has really come together for the cause,” said Tessa Jones, communications manager at the Galesburg Tourism & Visitors Bureau, and coordinator of Galesburg Holly Days Parade through her association with the Galesburg Town Center Community Partnership.

“It was a great turnout for the first year! We had a variety of creativity, art, music and performance groups that had our attendee list of over 600 people,” Jones said. “Everyone from the Galesburg Police Department, the Galesburg Fire Department, every organization; participants and volunteers cooperated and worked together for a rather smooth event. “

Santa and Mrs Claus wave from the top of Galesburg Fire Department Engine 51 as they walk down Cherry Street during the Galesburg Town Center Community Partnership Holly Days Parade on Sunday.

Santa and Mrs Claus wave from the top of Galesburg Fire Department Engine 51 as they walk down Cherry Street during the Galesburg Town Center Community Partnership Holly Days Parade on Sunday.

The parade, sponsored by Blick Art Materials, was themed “12 Days of Christmas”.

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Jones said that, as with any event, there was some chaos behind the scenes, especially putting everyone in their calculated spaces, “but we stayed flexible and it worked in our favor.

“Overall I’m delighted with the participation, especially since I was coordinating it for the first time. If only the mist at the end was a thin layer of snow, it would have been truly magical.

“But we’ve paved the way for Santa Claus shines Galesburg and we’re ready to grow next year.”

Jones said she already has ideas for next year’s event, including a new theme, a way to showcase performance groups to showcase their talents, as well as a space for participants with disabilities.

“We already have a few ideas coming up and that will only make the event even more special in the years to come,” Jones said. “But for a first event, we received rave reviews from people who saw it in person and online.”

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: Galesburg ’12 Days of Christmas’ Parade Draws 3,000 Spectators


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