Thousands of people “believed” as they lined F Street from Fifth Street to Sackett Avenue to watch the annual Parade of Lights lead Santa Claus into town so he could flip the switch, lighting Christmas Mountain USA and Holiday Park.
Eighteen entries in the parade were judged by who had the most lights and how well each entry followed this year’s theme of “The Polar Express.”
There were four categories: Animal/Equestrian, Marching, Commercial and Float. Each winner received a trophy and $50 cash.
This year’s winners included Paw Prints and Arrowpoint Cattle Co. for the Animal/Equestrian award; Salida Circus for Marching; Salida Auto Repair for Commercial; and Salida Elks Lodge No. 808 for Float.
Sponsors of the parade included Poncha Lumber, Su Casa Furniture & Sleep Shop, Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home and Fairview Cemetery, City of Salida, Salida Business Alliance, Salida Chamber of Commerce (Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce), Chaffee County Visitors Bureau and The Mountain Mail.
Entries included Kaleidoscope Toys, Mary Sandel Studios, ACA Products, The Mountain Mail, Salida Circus, Brady’s West, Monarch Mountain, Salida Girls’ Basketball, The Next Eddy, High Peaks Well & Pump, Paw Prints and Arrowpoint Cattle Co., Salida Elks Lodge No. 808, Shamrock Disposal Services, Salida Regional Library, A+ Glass, High Country Bank, Harder Real Estate and Development and Salida Auto Repair and Diesel.
Also in the parade were Salida Police Department, Salida Fire Department and Chaffee County Search and Rescue.
Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3820, American Legion Ray Lines Post No. 64 and Marine Corps League Detachment No. 1420 led the parade with the honor guard.