“A Tumbleweed Country Christmas” was this year’s theme for the annual Lamar Chamber of Commerce Parade of Lights, held along Main Street in Lamar on Friday, December 4th. Chilly southerly winds kept the crowds bundled up along the parade route while others ducked into stores for an early shopping bargain, or sampled some of the Christmas cookies and hot chocolate that was being served at some locations.
Just prior to Santa’s arrival with the float displays, Leah Austin’s dance troupe, All the Right Moves, gave the audience, a Rockette-like performance with their dance routine at the intersection of Main and Olive Streets. The newly added feature to the annual parade was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd and the dancers returned for a second performance, accompanied by Santa Claus aboard his train, en route to the lighting of the Enchanted Forest.
There were just over a dozen float entries and the chamber selected the decorated semi truck from 4 Rivers Equipment as the first place entry, followed by the LCC rodeo team which featured a bucking bronco rider and third place went to the Lamar Girl Scout Troop. Each winner will receive Lamar Bucks to spend locally. 4 Rivers donated their winnings to Toys for Tots. Following the parade, the crowd followed Santa into the Enchanted Forest for the tree lighting ceremony and then an evening spent with Santa and Mrs. Claus in his workshop.
Prior to the parade, the Lamar Area Hospice holds their traditional Lighting of the Windmill Memorial Service, just north of the train cross along Main Street. The event includes the reading of the names of deceased loved ones, a bell toll and the annual lighting of the windmill. Dozens of residents were on hand for a loving tribute and fond remembrance to departed friends and family.
By Russ Baldwin
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