Parade of lights returns

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November 24, 2016 12:00 AM

Lloydminster’s Parade of Lights is going into its second year and this time around the event is keeping things local.
In last year’s inaugural run, organizers donated proceeds to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, a noble cause to be sure, but this year all money raised will be going toward creating a pediatric ward right here in the Border City.
“It’s the second annual event this year; this year we’re doing the same route, so everything raised is going to go toward pediatric services and developing a pediatric ward in Lloydminster,” said Ryan LeBlanc, founder and chair for the event.
“We’re going to also have, instead of just the parade, a little bit of activities afterwards at the Exhibition Grounds, so we’re going to have bouncy houses, hot chocolate, snacks, baking and stuff like that.”
The Parade of Lights has entrants dress up vehicles with Christmas lights and decorations, then appropriately parade the tricked out rides through town for the public to watch and enjoy.
Though last year’s turnout was modest, bringing in about 35 entrants and $600 for the Stollery, LeBlanc said it was successful for a first run and nice to see that amount of community interest. 
Raising money for charity may be the main goal of the event, but LeBlanc said the parade itself shouldn’t be overlooked.
“It brings all the families together and it’s something for the community to do a little closer to Christmas, and it’s just overall a great event for kids and families out there to have something right here in our community,” he added.
As mentioned, this year the parade will take the same route as last year, shutting down Highway 17 and 49 Ave. and ending at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds for some more fun and activities.
Everything will go down on Dec. 22 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The event is also still looking for sponsors, its main way of raising funds, with different levels of sponsorship packages ranging from general for $500, to title sponsorships for $5,000.
The Parade of Lights also accepts item donations for prizes and raffles, so anyone wishing to help out is encouraged to do so. 
“There are different packages available upon request if somebody wants a package, and after that it’s just donations, if somebody wants to make a donation all the money goes through the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, and all the money is staying right here in Lloydminster,” Leblanc said.
Generous souls wishing to help out with the event can contact LeBlanc at 780-872-9030 or email paradeoflightsyll@gmail.com
“We’ll also have donations at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds the night of the event and we’re going to be putting out jars around Lloydminster in different businesses that’ll have a display on the jar, so if people want to drop some change in there, then were going to have those collected the night of the event.”

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