THE NIGHT NOW IN ITS
whatever strikes their builders’ fancy. Themes are not a part of this competition; instead, variety is what keeps the excitement going, Cushing said.
Winning floats from past parades have resembled pirate ships, merrygo-rounds and even the Statue of Liberty.
“It gives everyone an opportunity to build something, to be part of something,” Cushing said. to collect non-perishable items from onlookers. The food is donated to the Gemma E. Moran UnitedWay/Labor Food Center. Last year the food drive rasied about 1,400 pounds of food for the center, Cushing said.
“By year five, the food drive will also be a staple and we won’t even have to ask people to bring food,” he said. “If everyone who attended the parade simply brought two cans of soup, one in each coat pocket, the response would be overwhelming.”
The all-volunteer parade committee champions those types of activities, and it’s that kind of volunteer and giving spirit that brings people downtown year after year, Cushing said.
“It’s a unique, family-oriented holiday event that people love. It started out small 22 years ago, but it had a lot of support so it continued to grow.”