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Parade of Lights drew thousands downtown, but which floats were voted best?

Event organizers estimated the total attendance may have reached 2,000

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The South Dakota Department of Public Transportation float in the Mitchell Parade of Lights on Tuesday night on Mitchell Main Street. (Luke Hagen / Republic)

Mitchell’s annual Parade of Lights brought the Christmas spirit back to the city Tuesday night, just as residents prepare to flip the calendar to its final page.

The parade saw thousands of people line the sidewalks of Main Street between First and Ninth avenues for a chance to score some candy and catch the designs of 38 floats entered into this year’s event.

With a police escort in front and back, the sights included fire trucks, pickups, sleighs, semis and even go-karts tricked out with Christmas lights and themed decoration.

The event, hosted by Mitchell Main Street & Beyond, included a panel of judges, which selected six floats that went above and beyond the expectations in three categories.

(A video replay of the parade can be found at the bottom of this story)

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The Muth Electric float was in the large business category in the Mitchell Parade of Lights on Tuesday night on Mitchell Main Street. (Luke Hagen / Republic)

Award winners

Community Organizations

Best use of lights: Mitchell Area Community Theatre

Best use of theme: Helping with Horsepower

Small Businesses (under 20 employees)

Best use of lights: Paul’s Towing

Best use of theme: The Dog House & Training

Large Businesses (over 20 employees)

Best use of lights: Boyd’s Gunstock Industries

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Best use of theme: Muth Electric

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The Boyds Gunstocks float in the Mitchell Parade of Lights on Tuesday night on Mitchell Main Street. (Luke Hagen / Republic)

Parade ‘above and beyond’ expectations

Ashley Endres, director of Mitchell Main Street & Beyond, said this year’s parade was larger than average in terms of entries, and exceeded her organization’s goals.

“We average about 30 entries each year,” Endres said. “This was a pretty good year, we had a couple more this year for sure.”

Endres said she saw approximately 500 people gathered around her at the Corn Palace, and estimated the total attendance may have reached 2,000.

“You never wanna overshoot. You just want to go for a goal and I think we went well above and beyond that,” Endres said. “I feel like the community responded well.”

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The Paul's Towing float in the Mitchell Parade of Lights on Tuesday night on Mitchell Main Street. (Luke Hagen / Republic)

The Parade of Lights, in conjunction with the thousands that flocked downtown for Mitchell Main Street & Beyond’s annual trick-or-treat event just a month prior, signals the public’s interest and receptiveness to the organization’s programs.

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This weekend, Mitchell Main Street & Beyond is hosting Christmas Shopping for Kids, an event held at the Masonic Center where children 12-years-old and younger can shop through a selection of toys under $10 to give to their loved ones on Christmas.

Endres said the date for next year’s Parade of Lights has not yet been set, but will likely fall the week after Thanksgiving.

Related Topics: EVENTSCORN PALACECHRISTMAS
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