49 Floats To Line Up For Electric Light Parade

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The twinkling, sparkling, multicolored lights of the Main Street Electric Light Parade will shine Saturday night at 6 p.m.

"Rain or shine, it's going to happen," Cindy Kofile, volunteer event chair said.

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Payson Police Sgt. Don Kasl, right, and Det. Matt Van Camp set up a portable sign telling people not to wait for the Electric Light Parade at the same place as last year. Kasl said the parade will take place between Westerly Road and Julia Randall Elementary School, instead of starting from Rim Sight and Sound. "People can park anywhere they want, but we don't want them to wait here (at Rim Sight and Sound) for the parade because they would miss it," Kasl said.

There was standing room only at the parade meeting Wednesday night when

representatives from each of the 49 entrants gathered at the Payson library meeting room to learn the staging and route plan.

Float builders admitted to being in various stages of draping their vehicles and trailers with lights.

Payson firefighters waited until the Thursday night before the parade to start decking out the big red ladder truck with strands of lights.

"The decorations don't go across movable areas.

"We take off decorated if we get a call," firefighter Tom Fife said.

Students in Rim County Middle School's Future business Leaders of America club chose a "Candy Land" theme for their float and and have been working hard on it, teacher Marlene Armstrong said.

"We're going all out. We're bringing a 2-foot sport pontoon boat," K.K. Bennett, of ‘Arizona's best kept secret' Roosevelt Lake Marina, said.

This is the first year Roosevelt Lake Marina has entered the light parade, but K.K. and her co-workers are hard at work decorating the boat as a sleigh.

Employees of Foxworth Galbraith decided they wanted to enter the light parade for the first time so they will be decorating a truck, Sonja Bramble said.

Eleven-year-old Daytona Lee is "excited" to ride and sing on the First Church of the Nazarene's float.

"The lights, the music and the ride make it fun," she said.

Calvary Chapel will have Mary and Joseph and children caroling.

Lorne Cory, the marketing director for Mazatzal Casino, gave credit to Lanell Hooke as the "mastermind" behind the flatbed trailer that about 10 employees have arranged trees and a house on and, of course, added a plethora of lights.

Tonto Rim Search and Rescue members, decked out with headlamps, flashlights and search gear will march on either side of the TRSR raffle quad.

The Gila County Sheriff's Posse will not only have decorated Jeeps in the parade, they are also the marshals of the event.

The marshals will be dressed in their brown khaki uniforms.

Main Street will remain open until 5:30 p.m. to allow traffic to get to merchants.

The Senior Center will provide shuttle service to the parade route, beginning at 5:15 p.m. from the Payson High School parking lot on McLane.

"Thank goodness for the Senior Center. They came to our rescue when the school bus and driver fell through," Cathy Boone, project manager for tourism and economic vitality, said.

The shuttle will also be available after the parade.

Parade announcers will be located near Pine Country Animal Clinic, Main Street Animal Clinic, Eagle Mountain, Bootleg Alley and Community Presbyterian Church.

Parade entrants will stop for about 30 seconds in front of Canyon Country Log Homes so judges can rate them for overall originality, quality and theme.

Winners will be awarded trophies after Dec. 5.

A handicap accessible port-a-potty will be located at Deming History Park. A port-a-potty will be located on the vacant lot east of 501 W. Main. The third potty is on Westerly near Aero (where people will be staging floats before the parade).

Floats will de-stage in the parking lot of Julia Randall Elementary School.

Watch for people getting down from floats, especially children.

"We want this to be a safe parade," Kofile said.

The Town of Payson and Arizona Public Service sponsor the annual light parade, now in its seventh year.

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