Preparation is underway for the 2017 Annual Night of Lights festivities in Archbold, including the 19th annual Parade of Lights and 29th annual Festival of Lights, Friday, Nov. 24.
There will also be the annual Lite the Nite 5K Run and Pre-Parade fun with music. Santa Claus is expected to be on scene as well.
Amy Krueger, Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said on Tuesday, Nov. 14, the list of entries for the parade stands at 17 or 18, which is pretty typical for just over a week before the parade.
In years past, entries have flooded in with days, even hours, left before the start of the parade.
“We accept entries right up to the last minute bthrough Wednesday (Nov. 22),” she said.
Krueger said registrations are important so those doing color commentaries for the television recording of the event can have details about the floats before they appear in front of them.
Returning are cash prizes for the top three floats in the parade. Judging, Krueger said, is based on how memorable the floats are, how creative they are, and how visible they are.
Light The Night Run
This year, for the Lite The Nite 5K race, instead of gloves with lighted fingertips, entrants will receive groovy newsboy hats.
“They’re covered with sequins and they light up. They tacky, but cute,” Krueger said.
Participation is hard to predict based on pre-registrations. On Tuesday, 11 runners were entered.
In 2016, Krueger said 30 were pre-registered. When the run started, there were 115 competitors.
“What we have found is the majority register the night of the race,” She said.
Factors influencing turnout include the weather and other activities on the same night.
Another event repeated is the Pre-Parade Fun, which features musical performances by several groups, including The Company from Archbold High School.
Children may have their pictures taken with Santa inside the Holly Jolly Christmas Shop.
Festival Of Lights
The Festival of Lights, one of the signature events of the evening, features a new display.
The family of Dean Miller, who died in January, commissioned a local firm to create a display.
In honor of Miller, of the Miller Bros. Construction family, a dump truck with an animated dump box or bed will dump out packages, Krueger said.
Retiring this year is a memorial to Elias Frey, which features Santa golfing.
Krueger explained the way the float was constructed, the light bulbs could not be replaced.
That prompted a new requirement for Festival of Lights entries. All new displays must meet certain specifications, including light bulbs that can be replaced.
Krueger said there had been requirements before, but nothing was ever spelled out.
For the second year, the chamber has relied on Chris Ziegler to organize when families and business come into Ruihley Park to set up displays over a period of 10 days to two weeks. It works better, she said.
This year, 27 businesses and families turned out to put up displays. Since each group brings more than one person, Krueger estimated 100 or more people pitched in.–Posted 5:04 pm 11.14.17