Story by Ammie Bryant
For approximately twenty years, the community has been coming together to kick off the holiday season at the Stillwater Christmas Parade of Lights. Always held on the first Thursday in December, this year’s parade will take place on December 6, beginning at 7 p.m.
The parade began in the 1990s as a small community parade, but when a Leadership Stillwater group took an interest in organizing the parade it began to grow into what it is today. Tom Williams was in that original group of Leadership organizers. Collett Campbell started helping in 1999 and together Campbell and Williams have been organizing the event ever since. Williams handles the logistics of the parade lineup and working with the City of Stillwater while Campbell oversees the entries, parade judges, prizes, and publicity.
The Parade theme changes each year; this year’s theme is “North Pole Fantasy.” Entries are challenged to come up with their own interpretation of the theme. Each year the parade has around sixty entries. All entries have the chance to win traveling trophies for “Best use of Theme” and “Best use of Lights.” Competition categories include: group, float, and band. Lights must be a part of each entry.
The parade route runs between the intersection of 9th Avenue and Main Street up to the corner of 7th and Main before turning west toward 7th and Husband before turning back south on Husband to the corner of 9th and Husband.