Winter parades are something that Minnesota does. While other people were out and about finishing up their Black Friday shopping a few weeks ago, my Channing and I decided to head downtown and see what “The Night We Light” parade was all about.
Keep in mind, up to this point Bemidji seemed kind of dark and gloomy. I was wondering if the city had lost it’s touristy vibe that it’s so famous for in the Summer months. But the city has a secret you see, and it’s this parade.
I don’t know why they wait to light up the city until the day after we’re stuffed full of turkey. Maybe the city officials want to savor the holiday goodness of Thanksgiving and out of respect for the holiday, it waits to light the town up in Christmas until the day after?
Whatever the reason be, it was worth it. Of course, it was freezing cold outside but we were lucky enough to find a spot by the curb. We popped open the back of my Rav-4, blasted the heat and enjoyed the lights.
Winter parades are interesting if you’re not from around here or if you’ve only been to the typical summer parades. Winter parades in the dark are even better. They still throw out candy on the street and kids all bundled up to the eyes wobble to grab it before the next shipment is delivered. The lights are obviously the best part. Up to this point, I don’t know if I’ve seen so many vehicles and floats fully decked out in lights.
It’s like a pre-Christmas, post-Independence Day treat put on the by city. There’s music and hot chocolate. Fire flames 20 feet into the air and the color guard still marches. Instead of shorts and rollerblades, the procession of people are decked out in snow pants and boots.
We didn’t have enough warmth to fully participate in all that was offered this year. I hear the one and only Santa Claus showed up, sleigh rides were available and families enjoyed some quality time sledding down Library Park hill. This will definitively be something that we continue doing each year. Now’s a better time then ever to start a new tradition!
Does your city have a festival of lights, parade, or city-wide get together to light up the town? I’d love to hear about it!