Carbondale gets glowing during annual Lights Fantastic parade

2007-12-02T00:00:00Z Carbondale gets glowing during annual Lights Fantastic paradeBlackwell Thomas, The Southern The Southern
December 02, 2007 12:00 am  • 

CARBONDALE - The smell of evergreen and the sounds of Christmas carols filled the air as crowds packed into downtown Saturday evening to take in the annual Carbondale Lights Fantastic parade.

View a slideshow presentation

Photos by Amanda Whitlock

The event more than lived up to its name as lights adorned not only floats and trees but also children and dogs. Carbondale police said they did not have an estimate on the size of the crowd but, at three to four people deep for block-long stretches of Illinois Avenue, it appeared to meet last year's estimated size of 10,000.

Temperatures in the lower 50s meant cold toes and fingers were scarce, but that didn't stop many from bundling up with blankets, wool caps, mittens and scarves.

People began setting out folding chairs and laying down blankets along Illinois Avenue early in the afternoon in anticipation of the event.

Tucked in the bed of their truck parked near the Civic Center, Greg Borowitz, his wife, Becky, and daughters, Hannah, 12, and Berget, 5, had one of the more comfortable looking setups and a fine view of the parade.

"We parked and left the truck here at about 2 this afternoon," Greg explained.

"We learned our lesson one year when we sat on the sidewalk and we were very, very cold," Becky added.

Near the pavilion on the northeast corner of Illinois Avenue and Main Street, children were lining up to get their pictures taken with Santa and Dasher, a 5-year-old reindeer from Alaska.

Dasher's owner, Bill Light of Bethel, Mo., said kids tend to love Dasher and the feeling is mutual.

"He just loves getting out in the crowd," Light said. "He loves kids and dogs and he'll do anything for a graham cracker."

Just yards away from Dasher and Santa, Coty Herring leaned down examining her photos, and worked to corral three boisterous children.

"This should tell you how I am doing right now," she joked of her heavy breathing. "But it's fun. How often do you get to see a reindeer? I am 28 and this is only my second time."

Making her way through the crowd while holding her grandson, Riley, Carterville resident Susan Crain said the parade has been a tradition in her family for years.

"This is his first parade," she said of Riley, who will turn 1 year old on Friday. "We just came to let him see the floats and the lights."

Crain's daughter and Riley's mom, Amanda, said she has been coming to the parade since she was a little girl.

"We're going to make it a tradition for him now," she said.

blackwell.thomas@thesouthern.com / 351-5823

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Democrats, Rauner still far apart

Democrats, Rauner still far apart

SPRINGFIELD — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the General Assembly began settling into a potentially lengthy and de… Updated: 7:52 pm

2 hours ago Photos

Photos

Related (0)
Court rules Hightower must give up cop job

Court rules Hightower must give up cop job

MARION — Angelo Hightower’s 15-year career as a Marion police officer came to an end Tuesday by court order. Updated: 7:52 pm

3 hours ago Related (0)
8 Salukis awarded MVC President's Council Academic Award

8 Salukis awarded MVC President's Council Academic Award

ST. LOUIS -- Eight Southern Illinois University student-athletes were awarded the Missouri Valley Conference President's Council Academic Exce… Updated: 5:37 pm

4 hours ago Related (0)
Watch: Carbondale mom and daughter dance video goes viral

Watch: Carbondale mom and daughter dance video goes viral

CARBONDALE — Jaylyn Gregory has got some serious moves — and now the world knows it. Updated: 5:18 pm

4 hours ago Related (0)
Democrats to propose 1-month budget for essential services

Democrats to propose 1-month budget for essential services

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Democrats said Tuesday they are considering passing a temporary budget to fund essential services for one month as the … Updated: 4:39 pm

5 hours ago Related (0)
Rauner administration refuses to show for salary hearing

Rauner administration refuses to show for salary hearing

SPRINGFIELD — For the second time in two weeks, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration refused to attend a legislative hearing investigating the s… Updated: 8:35 pm

6 hours ago Photos

Photos

Related (0)
Widow of Sesser man who died in motorcycle crash sues driver who hit him

Widow of Sesser man who died in motorcycle crash sues driver who hit him

MARION — The widow of a 57-year-old man killed in Williamson County in November when his motorcycle was hit from behind by a vehicle has filed… Updated: 8:39 pm

7 hours ago Related (0)
USDA says rain delays Illinois winter wheat, hay harvests

USDA says rain delays Illinois winter wheat, hay harvests

CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says rain is delaying winter wheat harvest and hay cutting in northern and central Illinois.

7 hours ago Related (0)
Mayor pulls residency requirement topic from agenda

Mayor pulls residency requirement topic from agenda

CARBONDALE — The Carbondale City Council will not be talking about easing the residency requirements for city employees at tonight’s council meeting. Updated: 8:38 pm

7 hours ago Photos

Photos

Related (0)

Illinois to take new suggestions for marijuana disease list

CHICAGO — Illinois residents who want to add specific diseases to the state's medical marijuana pilot program have another chance to submit th… Updated: 8:35 pm

8 hours ago Related (0)
Activate subscription button gif
Follow the Southern Illinoisan

Pinboard