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Parade lights up Main Street

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo The Beacon of Light float was one of the floats with the most lights during the Christmas Light Parade.

It might have been because it was cold, but the only float to include fire took first place at the Christmas light parade Saturday.

With temperatures hovering around 40 degrees when the parade kicked off at 6 p.m., the Blair’s Affair Balloon Team’s fiery burst was a welcome shot of warmth when it reached the judges’ table at 7 p.m.

Coming in second was the Cannon Air Force Base Civil Engineering Squadron’s Grinch float that featured a Grinch and two dozen children and adults dressed like characters from the movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” called Whos, complete with wacky hair-dos and attire.

The winning floats were two of about 70 entries, according to Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Robyne Beaubien. Clovis MainStreet, which works for the renovation and historical preservation of Clovis’ downtown area, hosted the parade which followed Main Street from 21st Street to Grand Avenue.

“People really embraced the spirit of the parade in a great way,” Beaubien said.

She said the parade was as close to perfect as a parade can be. Beaubien and MainStreet President Lisa Dunagan said they estimated over 6,000 attended the parade.

A float featuring a weather cloud blowing winter over the trailer won the Clovis High School Family Career and Community Leaders of America float the cash prize.

Jessica Farkas, a student in FCCLA, said she believes the float won because the students poured their hearts into it.

“It wasn’t about winning. It was about spending time together, and we did, and we enjoyed ourselves and it showed through. And that’s what Christmas is all about,” Farkas said.

About 25 FCCLA students and parents helped with the float.

Clovis resident Yolanda Romero said the parade was exciting.

“There were more floats this year, more lights. It was cool,” she said.

Romero said she was glad the weather was calmer.

“This parade is always a joyous occasion because everyone is in the spirit and having a good time,” Romero said.

Romero said she enjoyed Xcel Energy’s float, which included one of their service trucks decked out with lights pulling a trailer also decked out in lights.

Staff Sgt. Travis Hoff with CAFB Civil Engineering said the group was glad to be involved in the parade. They also participated in the base’s Christmas parade on Thursday.

“Of course we wanted to be in the downtown parade,” he said. “We wanted to show some community support. It was a lot of fun.”