Lincoln Christmas Parade a delight for all

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[December 04, 2021] 

While many of us enjoy a little cold weather and snow during the Christmas season, the mild temperatures and calm winds were appreciated by the many people who came out to see the Lincoln Christmas Parade on Thursday evening.

There were a large number of entries in this year’s event, making for a tough job for the parade judges as they worked to decide which entry was the best in three separate categories.

The 2021 Christmas Parade judges were city of Lincoln Administrative Assistant Kate Andrews and Logan County Tourism Bureau board members Gail Apel-Sasse and Olivia Partlow. The three were tasked with selecting the best of the best in the categories of “Tourism’s Choice,” “Best Float,” and “Best representation of Theme.”

The Tourism Choice Award went to Memorial Care - Lincoln (formerly Memorial Physicians/Family Medical Center) with the float theme based on the popular Christmas Movie ‘Polar Express.’

The Best representation of the theme went to Top Hat Creamery and Spirited Republic. The float included Top Hat owner Lisa Mestinsek driving the truck and dressed as “Aunt Edna” from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The Traveling Top Hat represented the “RV” with other characters walking behind including “Cousin Eddie” and Clark’s employer “Frank Shirley” complete in pajamas and tied up in a big red bow.

The Best float went to the Hawes Elevator float from Atlanta. The float features a replica of the historic Hawes Elevator in Atlanta, and an assortment of items around the float representing historic Route 66.

There were several other notable entries this year including the little vintage cars driven by the Shriners organization members, a first time entry in Lincoln.

Seth Goodman with his ME Realty entry thrilled the crowd blowing flames from the basket of his balloon as he rode on the back of his transport van.

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Lincoln College also got the crowd fired up as a large group walked the parade route singing Christmas carols with Director of Residence Life Quentin Brackenridge leading the singing with his amplified megaphone.

Lincoln Community Theater members brought to the parade their interpretation of a scene from the Wizard of Oz complete with tornado and the witch’s feet with ruby red slippers sticking out from under Dorothy’s fallen house.

The “Grinch” not only stole Christmas, but he stole the show on Thursday evening as he drove the route in his little Nash Rambler, honking and waving with great enthusiasm all along the way.

And, of course, it would not be a parade without Santa Claus. He and Mrs. Claus brought up the rear of the parade in his beautifully lit reindeer and sleigh.

As the couple made their way to the end of the route, it was time to pullout of the line-up and venture to the Logan County Tourism Bureau Lincoln Depot Visitor’s Center.

Inside the depot, children lined up in large numbers for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and share their Christmas Wish list with him, in hopes that they have been good enough to get everything they ask for.

Mrs. Claus was also busy inside the depot. As has become an annual tradition, Grandma Claus had knitted and crocheted many child size winter hats. Grandma Claus couldn’t make it to the parade, so Mrs. Claus was busy giving out the hats as special gifts to any child who wanted one.

While guests waited their turn on Santa’s lap, the tourism bureau was serving up hot chocolate and cookies for all.

All in all, it was a terrific night in Lincoln on Thursday. The crowds were excited to come out for a “normal” parade, and the many involved in the various entries seemed to be excited and happy to be there as well.

[Nila Smith with photos by Smith and Lisa Ramlow]

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