Holiday Lights Parade returns on December 16
Ho Ho Ho! Richfield will be tossing its Santa hat into the ring of holiday season celebrations by bringing back its Holiday Lights Parade for a second year on Thursday, December 16.
Last year, the city’s Recreation Services Department organized the parade, somewhat unsure what attendance would be like for the event. To the department’s surprise, thousands of residents waited throughout Richfield in eager anticipation for a bit of joy and happiness to come down the streets.
The idea for the first parade came on the heels of the successful birthday patrols organized by the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments during the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After seeing the success of the birthday parades, and in light of the ongoing pandemic, we started brainstorming ways that we could bring joy to the community during the holiday season,” remembered Amy Markle, Recreation Services Director.
Traveling at parade-route speeds, the 12-vehicle caravan consisted of festively-lit emergency vehicles, heavy construction equipment, traditional parade floats and even a school bus. In 2020, the parade traveled over six miles to reach all corners of Richfield.
For this holiday season, the Holiday Lights Parade will take place on December 16 starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending at approximately 7:15 p.m. The route will be much more condensed this year with the parade starting at the Public Works Building on 66th Street traveling west until vehicles will turn south onto Bloomington Avenue. The parade will then turn west onto 70th Street until it reaches Lyndale Avenue. The parade will continue north on Lyndale Avenue until it finished its route at 67th Street.
“For this year, we condensed the parade route a little bit, while still utilizing parks and school, so residents can have places to park and watch the parade,” explained parade committee member and Fire Chief Mike Dobesh.
Event organizers plan on adding a few extra vehicles from a couple of community partners. Also, Santa and Mrs. Clause will be back for another ride around the city on their festive float.
“When you plan a new city-wide event, like the Holiday Lights Parade, you never know how well it will be embraced by the community,” said parade committee member and Public Works Operations Superintendent Chris Link. “We are so happy that the community has embraced this new event and we intend to make the second parade even better than the first, with even more residents in attendance.”