Parade of Lights returns to Malone this weekend

From left, Hunter O’Connor, Carson Barse, Logan Desnoyers, Calleigh Barse and Aydan O’Connor get ready for the Malone’s Parade of Lights in 2020. Alexander Violo/Malone Telegram

MALONE — The Christmas tree lighting and parade through the village will help ring in the holiday season on Saturday in Malone.

The Parade of Lights will return to the village for its fourth year, with the holiday procession starting at Catherine Street and ending at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, according to Carrie Robinson, the parade’s organizer.

Robinson said her favorite part of organizing the parade is seeing how much people enjoy it.

“The smiles and happy faces are great,” Robinson said. “Their faces just light up when they see all the decorations and watch the parade go through town.”

Robinson said the lighting of the Christmas tree is planned for around 5 p.m. The lighting of the Christmas tree will be livestreamed using Facebook Live on the parade’s Facebook page, Malone’s Annual Parade of Lights Festival.

Once the tree is lit, Santa and Mrs. Claus will join the end of the parade, Robinson said.

“Santa will light the tree, and as soon as it is lit we will get him to the tail end of the parade,” she said.

Robinson estimated the parade itself will start around 5:10 p.m.

This year’s festival will again be a drive-thru event, with people welcome to come down to the fairgrounds and drive to meet Santa. Kids will receive a gift bag after the parade.

One difference this year will be the parade route. Robinson said this year’s event will line up on Catherine Street, with the festively decorated vehicles making their way to the fairgrounds via Main Street, whereas last year’s parade started at St. Joseph’s Elementary School and approached the fairgrounds from Elm Street.

Robinson said an increase in the number of participants was one factor in moving the parade’s starting point, and she was also able to get permission to close off Main Street to traffic this year.

“We have more participants than last year so we decided to move where we line up,” she said.

Those watching the parade may park off to the side on Main Street and can proceed to the fairgrounds once the parade passes through. People will be on hand to direct traffic.

“They can follow the parade into the fairgrounds and see Santa,” Robinson said.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, people traveling to the fairgrounds need to stay in their vehicles while at the fairgrounds, according to Robinson, who said the same rules were in place for last year’s event.

This year’s parade will benefit North Country Habitat for Humanity.

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