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38th annual Candle-light Christmas parade roles through Dowagiac

NOW: 38th annual Candle-light Christmas parade roles through Dowagiac

DOWAGIAC, Mich. – The Candle-light Christmas Parade in Dowagiac on Friday features various holiday floats in addition to performances by Miss Michelle & Co. and the Lighthouse Choir.

The two popular floats featured in the parade include the Grandma and Grandpa Build-a-Float by Leonard Kazminski and a float designed by the staff of Myer’s Forklift.

Both floats were displayed on Beeson Street Friday afternoon.

"Christmas is kind of special — we like all the lights, plus we go to about ten Christmas parades a year,” Leonard Kazminski said. “We thought, it's a lot of work just for one time a year so we started going to the blueberry festival, the apple festival, and the next thing we know we're going to thirty parades a year."

Spectators were able to get an up-close look at the two floats; the Grandma and Grandpa Build-a-Float has been a staple of the parade for the past several years.

A shuttle was also provided for spectators and holiday shoppers, transporting them to the downtown area.

“Each year we are impressed by the amount of imagination and design that goes into the holiday floats,” Max Sala said, Co-chair of the parade. “This year we wanted to give families the opportunity to take a closer and longer look at two of our previous award-winners.”

Front Street closed at 2 p.m. so that every float will be able to pass through with ease during the parade and to provide additional safety to families and spectators.

A costumed Elf was also there to greet everyone attending.

Pre-parade entertainment began at 5:30 p.m. with the holiday performance of Miss Michele & Co., followed by Green Dance Academy at 6 p.m. and the Lighthouse Choir at 6:45 p.m.

The performances took place on Front Street near Beckwith Park.

There was also a tree-lighting ceremony and the introduction of Parade Grand Marshal Thelda Mathews at Beckwith Park.

118 floats will appear in this year’s parade.

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