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Forum staff reports, Published November 23 2013

New ‘spectacular’ entries in Holiday Lights Parade

FARGO – Those who attend Xcel Energy’s annual Holiday Lights Parade on Tuesday can expect something special from what Jed Pahan, vice president of the Downtown Community Partnership, calls “the official kickoff of the holiday season.”

“This year we have probably the most spectacular floats that they’ve ever seen,” Pahan said. “We have so many new entries this year.”

The parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, launching from Center Avenue in Moorhead and leading through downtown Fargo.

This year’s theme, “Olde Fashioned Holidays,” was inspired by its historic downtown setting.

“The goal for the holiday season this year was to bring back the nostalgic holiday feel,” Pahan said. “We thought it was a great idea to have ‘Olde Fashioned Holidays,’ keeping with the tradition of the holiday season downtown.”

The parade will be led by Paul Richard, honorary grand marshal of the parade and president of Sanford Medical Center.

The parade will also feature a competition between area businesses and organizations for the best float.

Three judges will pick the top three finalists according to criteria of theme, creativity, workmanship and overall appearance.

Finalists in past years include State Bank & Trust, first place in 2011; Holiday Inn, second place in 2012; and Moore Engineering, first place in 2010 and 2012.

“It’s a good time of the year to give back to the community,” said Matt Welle, project engineer at Moore Engineering. “We put a lot of time and effort after hours into the float.”

To conclude the parade, the Fargo Park District will reveal Santa Claus to officially begin the holiday season.