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Arlington celebrates Hometown Holidays
ARLINGTON — Hundreds of participants, attendees and organizers chose a perfect day for a parade.
Sunny skies and chilly weather greeted community members during the city’s annual Hometown Holiday festivities Saturday, Dec. 5.
Starting at noon, residents watched parade participants from Arlington and beyond traverse down North Olympic Avenue.
Many paraders — both human and animal alike — donned holiday garb from head to toe as they waved at spectators during the approximately 30-minute parade.
“It’s a great day for a parade,” said Arlington Fire Chief Jim Rankin. “We’ve got a lot more folks out here than last year it looks like.”
City employees also collected canned food from parade participants. Sarah Hegge, city of Arlington recreation manager, said that approximately 200 pounds of food were collected during the parade.
After the parade residents had a chance to meet at Legion Park where organizers lit the city’s Christmas tree.
Santa Claus — who waved at parade attendees during the parade — was on hand from 1-3 p.m. in the Legion Park Gazebo. Free covered wagon rides, sponsored by the Downtown Arlington Business Association, were also offered to residents.
Nola Smith, owner of The School Box in downtown Arlington and Downtown Arlington Business Association member, said that a number of local businesses saw more customers during the event.
Smith and other DABA members sponsored the wagon rides, a group of Victorian singers and a small nativity scene which was constructed and painted by local residents.
“All the streets and sidewalks were pretty much full and there were a lot more participants in the parade than last year,” Smith said. “It made it a lot more exciting. The businesses around downtown had a lot of success.”
Community members who were unable to attend the parade will still have a chance to take part in wagon rides on Dec. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Arlington.
Santa Claus will also be available for pictures during that time, and the Victorian singers are again scheduled to serenade residents in downtown Arlington, Smith said.