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Entries are now open to participate in Cortez’s 34th annual Parade of Lights

Anyone is welcome to join in the festivities that kick off the holiday spirit
Many businesses put together festive floats for the Parade of Lights in Cortez. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

The Four Corners Board of Realtors announced they are accepting entry forms for people to participate and show off their lit-up floats and automobiles in Cortez’s 34th annual Parade of Lights.

The event, which will be held on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m., kicks off Montezuma County’s holiday season, where the festivities bring the community together to watch the procession.

Since its inception 34 years ago, the parade has grown substantially over the years with both participants and spectators from all areas of the Four Corners area.

Everybody is invited to participate, and all entry forms for the parade are due on Nov. 30 by 5 p.m. at no cost.

Entry forms can be found at any local real estate office, in The Journal, on the Parade of Lights Facebook page or by emailing an entry form request to fcborparadeoflights@gmail.com.

Every year, the parade committee chooses the Grand Marshal and judges, along with its theme.

Courtesy of the Four Corners Board of Realtors

This year’s theme is the “hidden spirit of Christmas,” in honor of their chosen Grand Marshal, Mitchel Toms.

Toms has contributed above and beyond to the community without expectations of recognition. He supports and organizes many different charity organizations. He’s severed on the Historic Preservation Board and volunteers with numerous committees while sharing his expertise and experience to help revitalize the downtown Cortez area.

According to a news release, some organizations he’s been involved with include the Chamber of Commerce, as well as helping establish Habitat for Humanity in the area. He also provided space for low to no-cost organizations such as an emergency shelter for women and children, and he’s been recognized as a Community Champion by the El Pomar Foundation and the Denver Broncos.

Regardless of weather conditions, the route will begin on Main and Maple, near Notah-Dineh Trading Company and Museum, where Santa Claus will kick start the parade via helicopter.

Spectators can watch the parade from the sidewalks on Main Street, but they are not permitted to go into the streets during the event.

Conversely, those participating in the parade are prohibited from throwing items into the crowd in order to prevent people from running into the parade’s path. Instead, they may hand items to spectators.

The judges – fifth graders from Dove Creek, Mancos, Dolores and Cortez schools, picked by the committee – will be staged at Main and Market, and all entries will be judged according to the criteria of lights and the parade’s theme.

Once the parade ends at the City Market on Main Street, the judges convene and they choose first, second and third place in three categories: nonprofit, commercial and other. Winners will receive cash prizes.

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