Thousands of locals lined Main and Coffman Streets last night for the annual Longmont Lights parade. More than 50 floats and parade participants rolled through downtown, led by healthcare workers from UCHealth and Longmont United Hospital as the grand marshals.
Competition was lively for the best floats, with nearly half of the parade participants entering into the contest across a handful of categories. Judges strolled around Roosevelt Park before the parade kicked off in earnest, looking for floats with the best presentation, workmanship and creativity.
Liz Hogan, an insurance agent with Allstate, was one of the judges for her first year. Dressed as the Disney princess Elsa, Hogan and her fellow judge took careful stock of all the floats as a blustery evening settled over Roosevelt Park.
“It was a little stressful but it was worth it,” Hogan said. “It was a tough competition and everybody really pulled out all the stops.”
Taking the Grand Marshal’s wreath for best entry was Up A Creek Robotics, a Longmont youth robotics team. Utilizing materials salvaged from competitions earlier in the year, the centerpiece was a working robotic arm, according to construction lead Jack Steinke. Accompanying the working robot was a cartoon robot on the roof of the truck, serenading onlookers with 8-bit Christmas music.
The Nahuali Mexican Folkloric Dancers won the Harmony Award for best use of music, speakers booming from their float while dancers young and old swirled their luminescent capes.
The Bright Horizon award went to Longmont Baseball League, their float decorated with a giant baseball bat. The float was almost entirely decorated in donated materials, according to Tim Pahuta, one of the group’s leaders.
“We decided we were going to enter and give it a shot to win, we weren’t going to give it away,” said Lorri Vandiver, Longmont Baseball League executive director.
With a shed decorated like a gingerbread house and St. Vrain Realty’s staff dressed like gingerbread people to match, their team took home the Holiday Spirit Award for best use of lights. It was a near thing, according to St. Vrain Realtor Josh Hunter, who said the team had to pick up an emergency generator just hours before the parade began.
Capping off the awards, Elevated Supports won the Pioneer award for an understated float display of classic Christmas themes - white lights, ribbons and reindeer.
The victors were joined by local high school marching bands, scout troops, dancers and more, including a lively pack of skaters from the Boulder County Bombers rollerderby team and dozens of cyclists from Longmont Bike Night.
Correction: Fixed spelling for Liz Hogan, previously and incorrectly Liz Logan.