Electric Light Parade Kicks Off Rim Country Christmas Season

Payson lights up

Photo by Pete Aleshire. |

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An hour before the annual Electric Light Parade, viewers scurried to find a spot along Main Street for the biggest Rim Country event of the Christmas season.

As the sun turned the clouds bright orange, one toddler riding on her mother’s shoulders fluffed her mom’s long hair. As the two passed by a huge orange thermos on a card table, a lady pouring cups of hot chocolate offered them a cup.

“It’s free,” she said.

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Winners: 1st: Commercial Float Home Depot (Nightmare)

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They grabbed a cup then located a spot to watch a parade.

Susan Volk, a former Phoenix resident now turned Payson local, said, “Payson does such a great job on their light parade — and I’ve seen the parades in the Valley. This is so much better!”

With more than 42 entries, the parade offered scenes of the season as varied as the 12 Days of Christmas.

For instance, festooned with lights and Santa hats, the Payson High School marching band brought along at least,

“Twelve horns a blowing ...”

The Rim Country Draft Club clomped down Main Street and won first in the equestrian category — headlining riders that brought at least

“Eleven horses trotting ...”

Meanwhile, pooches decked out in Santa gear accounted for at least

“Ten puppies prancing ...”

The award-winning Mazatzal Optimist Club’s Candyland float and Chapman Auto Center’s Grinch float together with numerous church and school floats offered way more than

“Nine children singing ...”

Not to mention a minimum of about

“Eight elves a-dancing ...”

The illuminated floats like Home Depot’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Sunshine Cleaning’s street sweepers rocking out to the “Ghostbusters” theme added up to way more than

“Seven floats a-blinking ...”

While the spectator birds in the Green Valley Lakes accounted to at least

“Six geese a-laying ...”

And the decorated car grills along the crowded street surely exceeded

“F-i-v-e gr-een wreaths ...”

Let’s see. What’s left.

“Four twirling gypsies ...”

“Three local llamas ...”

“Two snowmen ...”

Ah yes: And bringing up the rear:

“And a Santa in a lighted sleigh ...”

All in all, the parade proved a smashing success on a mild, winter’s night as Santa made the turn into the Sawmill and we all heard him exclaim as he blinked out of sight:

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

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