LEXINGTON — Christmas and the holiday season is officially here and it was ushered in on Sunday evening by the Light Up Lexington Christmas Parade.

The wind, which had been battering the area all weekend, finally died down to give parade goers a cold, but beautiful evening, said Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sarah Neben.

The parade had 23 different participants, ranging from businesses to churches to community organizations. "A special thanks to all who participated, the parade would not be possible without them," Neben said.

Scott Foster with KRVN stood on the corner near Pinnacle Agency and helped to announce the floats as they passed by.

Awards were handed out to floats for three categories,

Best Spirit: Cub Scout Troop 143

Brightest: Lexington Regional Health Center

Most Original: Central Community College

Washington St. was crowded by families and children so they could catch a glimpse of the lights and floats. "We were thrilled with the crowd and the amount of people downtown was great too," Neben said.

"What I love the most is seeing the families out and the children’s eyes shine," Neben said, "It’s so cute to see them light up for Santa."

Neben extended thanks to the City of Lexington and the Lexington Police Department for leading the parade and ensuring the streets were safe.

She also thanked the First United Methodist Church for allowing the parade to be staged in their parking lot for the second year in a row. "It’s a great and safe place to stage the parade," said Neben.

The Lexington Volunteer Fire Department finished the parade with three of their rigs, included one from the 1940s which carried Ol’ Saint Nick into town, a tradition they perform every year. "We appreciate their help," Neben said.

A new addition to the festivities this year was a pancake and sausage feed held by the United Methodist Men of the FUMC after the parade was over and it gave a place for people to gather together and get out of the cold.

"They were packed," Neben said. A line extended through Fellowship Hall, out a door and down the ramp leading to the room. We are thrilled people took advantage of this," she said, "the goal of the parade is to foster community spirit and this event helped to continue it, we hope to do something similar next year."

"We hope to have a bigger, better parade in 2020," Neben said.

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