Another hit parade: Community gathers to celebrate holiday season

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Photo by Lauren Clark

A brightly lit plow truck, courtesy of the Kalkaska County Road Commission, makes its way down Cedar Street as part of last Friday’s Lighted Holiday Parade. The KCRC won best overall/municipal entry award in this year's parade. Artwork on the plow was done by Tari M. Rogers.


KALKASKA – Hundreds of people again gathered in downtown Kalkaska to help herald in the holiday season, as the village played host to the annual Christmas in Kalkaska held Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 6-8.

The festivities started with the Lighted Bus Tour, with those attending the event able to look at a variety of holiday light displays in the village, both business and residential.

One of the biggest highlights of the festival was the annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Friday night. Local residents lined Cedar Street while 40 different bright and highly decorated entries rolled through downtown.

“Awesome,” said parade chair Katrina Banko. “The entries get better every year.”

And, several entries were honored for their efforts.

Winners included “Enchanted Ever After” in the commercial division, Kalkaska Boy Scouts Pack/Troop No. 629 in the nonprofit category and the Kalkaska County Road Commission, which decorated several of its large pieces of equipment for the occasion to win the municipal award.

“The road commission is amazing – better and better each year,” Banko said.

“I seriously thought the judges were going to have a throw down,” added Deb Ball-Odeh, another one of the festival’s coordinators. “It was a tough decision on a few. The parade entries were so amazing.”

Of course, Santa made the trip to Kalkaska and visited with local children after the parade to hear their most up-to-date Christmas wishes.

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