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Grand Island Chamber of Commerce hoping for successful first-time event

by jmaloni
Sat, Nov 10th 2012 07:55 am

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is hoping a short parade will lead to a large party.

The first-ever Light Up the Boulevard Electric Holiday Parade and Festival will take place Saturday, Nov. 17.

A parade at 5:30 p.m. will start at Island Lanes on Whitehaven Road and continue right onto Grand Island Boulevard. The parade terminus is the Town Hall parking lot. A festival will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Town Hall parking lot, where activities, vendors, food and a tree-lighting ceremony will take place.

"This is a new event that the chamber has sponsored for our Grand Island community to enjoy and celebrate the beginning of the holiday season, and to promote our businesses on Grand Island," said Carolyn Konopski, administrative director of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.

The cars and floats will line the perimeter of the parking lot so that people can look at the decorations. After the marchers come into the Town Hall lot, they will gather at the Grand Island Rotary Club Gazebo, where Santa, who will enter last in a fire truck, will hit the switch to turn on the lights of Christmas trees.

"Then the party begins in the parking lot," Konopski said.

The party will include:

•Performances by members of the Grand Island Community Chorus, singing Christmas carols

•Music from students at Connor Middle School

•Sidewalk vendors on the sidewalk along Town Hall

•Fire pits and an opportunity to roast marshmallows

•Santa greeting children on the walkway leading into the building

So far, 18 units had signed up for the parade as of Tuesday.

Konopski said awards will be given out for best float or vehicle, best marching group, and best decorated storefront. Children will enjoy hot dogs, hot chocolate, and a chance to visit Santa.

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