Floats put Cape in Christmas spirit

Monday, November 26, 2012
A ladder truck from the Cape Girardeau Fire Department at the front of the 21st Annual Parade of Lights Sunday, Nov. 25, moves down Broadway in Cape Girardeau. This year's theme was "All I Want for Christmas."

Eighty floats lit up the streets Sunday in Cape Girardeau as part of the 21st annual Parade of Lights.

Organized by Old Town Cape, the parade route began at Capaha Park, continued down Broadway and turned at Main Street before reaching its end at Merriwether Street.

Nicholle Hinkle, the project manager with Old Town Cape, said this year the number of participants was down.

Two fire fighters carry an American Flag during the 21st Annual Parade of Lights Sunday, Nov. 25, on Broadway in Cape Girardeau. This year's theme was "All I Want for Christmas." (Adam Vogler)

"It is a little bit down from previous years, but we have noticed that more new people are entering the parade," Hinkle said. "We usually have about a hundred floats on average, so our numbers are down, but it is good to see this variety. I think it all worked out."

The theme for the 2012 parade was "All I Want for Christmas." While the parade only requires participants to have lights and music, most chose to decorate their floats in accordance with this year's theme.

The Marine Corps, a regular parade participant, took advantage of the theme to incorporate its Toys for Tots campaign into its float. Displaying their banner "All I Want for Christmas is a Truck Full of Toys," Marines accepted toy donations from the crowd as they passed.

Other crowd favorites included a Charlie Brown Christmas themed float for local radio station KWKZ 106.1 and Alliance Bank's "I Want It All" theme with participants dressed as popular cartoon characters, including Superman and Cinderella.

Charity Worley and Debbie Huckabee have participated in the parade every year with the Saint Francis Medical Center float. This year, they say they chose not to follow the parade theme as closely as they have in previous years.

"For us, it's more about gathering the Saint Francis family outside of the hospital," said Worley. "We're all going to sing Christmas carols, and some of us will actually be walking next to the float, passing out candy."

Huckabee said for Saint Francis, the parade isn't about winning a prize.

"It starts our Christmas spirit," said Huckabee. "We come to have a good time and bring our kids and family to celebrate fellowship and have a good time."

Shelly Smith also has been a longtime parade enthusiast. For the last 17 years, Smith has attended the parade as a spectator. She said the parade has become a holiday tradition for her and her family.

"I always like to see the fire trucks," said Smith. "I like seeing them all lit up and decorated and seeing Santa come by at the end."

This year, the Missouri Running Co. of Cape Girardeau and Top of the Line Consign presented the Kim McDowell Memorial Toy Box Mile before the start of the parade. Runners lined up at the intersection of Broadway and West End Boulevard and completed the race at the intersection of Broadway and Main Street.

Encouraged to dress up as their favorite Christmas characters, Santa, a few of his elves, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse jogged past the hundreds of applauding spectators. All proceeds gained from the race went to the Toybox charity.

Pertinent address:

Capaha Park, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Main Street and Merriwether Street, Cape Giradeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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