Beverly Orozco
Mt. Grant General Hospital took part in the Parade of Lights with their holiday float Friday evening in Hawthorne

With flashing lights beaming on local law enforcement vehicles, the annual Parade of Lights began on Friday evening, delighting attendees who filled the sidewalks along Hawthorne’s main street of town. A variety of elves avoided The Grinch, while the Gingerbread Man and his Cookie-Crumble-Bakers danced and waved at patrons. Children greeted each character walking in the parade, while cheerfully taking candy packets tossed their way.

This year presented a full parade of fun, with two floats rounding out the effort. The First Southern Baptist Church of Hawthorne presented a choir of singers and Mount Grant Hospital provided a full nativity scene, showing the spirit of the season in both presentations.

Musicians rounded out the mix, with a walking guitarist and other instrumentals being played. Cecil the Serpent hosted carolers clinging to his scales as he wrapped his slithering body down the center of the street toward his destination at Veterans Park.

As the emergency crews of Mineral County completed the parade route, crowds were growing at the park’s array of holiday food booths. Hawthorne utility elves greeted the young and old with hot cider, while the Coalition of Mineral County served up hot dogs, chili, and chips. There were also giveaways provided for attendees, as well as important literature items.

The Lions Club served hot chocolate and cookies, as the hosting group for this year’s Christmas decorations, as well as representing this as an annual event. The VFW volunteers grew a crowd with their hot, homemade soup, which filled the need of warming up families, as the evening proved to be cold enough for coats and mittens. In-spite of being a brisk night, it was counted as the largest turnout in many years.

With music requests playing, thanks to the participation of Tyler Viani, the evening was highlighted with a vocal countdown for the tree lighting. Children waited patiently in line to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, just to give him their Christmas list and to get a photo-op with the jolly old soul.