Annual Electric Parade brings the holiday lights to Main Street
November 21, 2014
The idea behind Historic Park City Alliance’s annual Main Street Electric Parade is a twist on a holiday tradition.
"Many of us have memories of driving around, listening to holiday music and looking at Christmas lights on houses," said Meisha Lawson, spokeswoman of the Historic Park City Alliance. "The cool thing about the Electric Parade is that the Christmas lights drive by you. People who watch the parade get to be part of something bigger, but also enjoying a taste of the traditions you may have had as a child."
This year’s Main Street Electric Parade will be on Saturday, Nov. 29. Anyone interested in entering a vehicle or float can do so by emailing Lawson at email@example.com . She will then email back a form that asks for names of the entrants and the types of vehicles they will decorate. Registration ends on Friday, Nov. 28.
"That said, if we have someone come to us Saturday morning and really wants to participate, it won’t be problem," Lawson said. "The purpose of registration is to help us know what types of vehicles will be in the parade, so we can plan things out."
There are no restrictions on what type of vehicle can be entered.
"Bicycles are welcome, as well as cars, golf carts and trailers," Lawson said. "We do, however, ask the wheel diameter to be at least as big as a golf cart so everyone can keep up with the parade’s flow of traffic."
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Those guidelines help keep the entries easy and fun to make, she said.
"Last year, Park City business owner Monty Coates, his sons and their friends got together on Thanksgiving and decided to enter the parade," Lawson said. "They made a car into Santa’s sled and had Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer on a bike pulling the sled and it was one of the most creative entries we had ever seen.
"What we all love about the parade is that people who enter are families, couples and groups of friends," she said. "It brings everyone together."
Another difference between the Main Street Electric Parade and other parades is there is no entrance fee.
"It makes it easy to participate," Lawson said.
Entrants will meet between 5:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at City Park to line up. The parade will begin around 6 p.m. and will proceed up Park Avenue to the top of Main Street, down Swede Alley, across Heber Avenue and conclude on lower Main Street, according to Lawson.
All entries will be eligible for to win cash prizes that will be awarded by a panel of local judges, she said.
"We have local dignitaries who are going to be the judges," Lawson said. "The mayor (Jack Thomas) is always a judge and we have other local people whom we all know. I won’t reveal the other judges because we want it to be a surprise."
The prizes will be as follows:
"Best of Show is the Mayor’s Award," Lawson explained. "The Power to Make it Happen honors the best use of lights. Entrepreneurs Unite is our small-business award and the Holiday Time in the Mountains award is given to the entry that reflects the best Christmas spirit."
Last year, Park City Mountain Resort won Best of Show.
"The float was a birthday cake because they were celebrating its 50th anniversary," Lawson said.
Last year the parade featured 15 entries.
"That was a record for us," she said. "We would love to have this grow and adding one or two every year would be nice."
The Main Street Electric Parade was inspired by the Disneyland Electric Parade, and was a way for the Historic Park City Alliance to help the town celebrate the holiday season.
"We originally held it closer to Christmas until last year when we decided it would be great to kick off the Holiday season and really bring the energy into town for a longer period of time," Lawson said.
This year’s parade will follow the lighting of Park City’s Christmas tree at Miners Park.
"Santa will be there and we’ll have carolers and a juggling elf," Lawson said. "At 5:30 p.m., when the parade entrants are lining up at City Park, we’ll light the tree. Right before the parade comes down Main Street, we’ll turn on the iconic lights that zigzag across Main Street."
The parade happens to coincide with Small Business Saturday.
"That’s something that Park City is all about," Lawson said. "Being able to extend the festivities to include the merchants and restaurants is a fun and unique way to celebrate the holiday-season kickoff."
Historic Park City Alliance’s annual Main Street Electric Parade will take place Saturday, Nov. 29. Entries will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 28. To enter, email Meisha Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information about the Historic Park City Alliance, visit http://www.historicparkcityutah.com.