Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Twinkle, twinkle floats and cars

Arlington Optimist fifth-grade Vikings cheerleaders waive to the crowd during the Arlington Parade of Lights in downtown Dec. 6,.
Arlington Optimist fifth-grade Vikings cheerleaders waive to the crowd during the Arlington Parade of Lights in downtown Dec. 6,.

Nothing is more magical than lighting up the dark night with the sights and sounds of the festive Arlington Holiday Lights parade. The glittering lineup will step off at 6 p.m. sharp on Saturday at the corner of Main and Center streets, inspiring delight and wonder for the young and young at heart lining the downtown streets. Decorator’s Warehouse is once again the proud title sponsor.

The lighted promenade is a community favorite with entries that will stoke the imaginations of legions of admirers gathered to watch the nearly 100 entries adorned with sparkling lights and lavish decorations. Entertainment and activities at the Levitt Pavilion will offer pre-parade fun, and the tree lighting after the parade will combine with the rest for a full-fledged holiday festival.

Christmas floats, marching bands, cheer and dance squads, vintage cars, equestrian groups, and local businesses, clubs, scouts and churches will form the 100-entry sparkling processional as it defies the dark and moves through the downtown area.

What parade would be complete without a marching band? Kudos to the Seguin High School Cougar band, led by band director Mike Davis, for coming back again this year.

Onlookers will love the amazing Show Truck built from parts recovered from 11 different stolen vehicles as it cruises the parade route as a reminder from the Tarrant Auto Crimes Task Force that residents should lock their vehicles with valuables stored out of sight during this holiday shopping season.

Watch out for the zany antics of the World-Famous Wheelie-ing Elvi as they zigzag the street and pop wheelies on their mini-motorcycles. And what about the glowing hula hoops spinning spectacularly as a group of performers from The Hoop Shack, owned by Geri McNeice, dances and spins their way along the parade route.

If you see a monster truck ambulance rolling along the parade route, you now know it’s called The Whambulance from First Choice Emergency Room. The new medical facility is entering the parade for the first time this year.

“At the conclusion of the parade, Mayor Jeff Williams has flip-the-switch honors, along with Santa Claus, to light up the Viridian Christmas Tree, a spectacular 11,000-pound, 50-foot blue spruce,” said Elle Stubbs, who is co-directing the parade with Scott Reading.

The parade and accompanying activities are an all-volunteer effort led by Stubbs and Reading helped by the dedicated efforts of Joni Wilson, Don Duke, Joyce Pinnow, Russ Greene, Jonathan Januta, Misty Lockhart and Jeannie Deakyne.

Interestingly, Stubbs is doing the heavy lifting long distance as she is currently part of a volunteer team doing mission work in Vienna after stints in Sarajevo and Herzegovina.

Wilson and Duke have been named the grand marshals of the 2015 Arlington Holiday Lights Parade. “Don Duke and Joni Wilson were selected as grand marshals to recognize the service they have offered our community and to honor them this year — which is the 10th year that they have served together on the Arlington Holiday Lights Parade Committee,” Reading said.

A sterling lineup of entertainment at the Levitt begins at 2 p.m. Performers include CATS’ touring group, Caleidoscope, the Elf Show from Miss Persis Studio of Performing Arts, and a screening of The Muppet Christmas Movie on the big screen while Santa receives guests for photo ops on the Levitt Stage. The Arlington Community Band will perform at City Hall before the parade.

“With only days left until the parade, the Arlington Holiday Lights Parade committee is grateful to all of our volunteers and supporters that make this possible year after year. The outstanding parade entries and our entertainment before and after the parade are sure to make this the Arlington family event of the year,” Reading said.

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