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Holiday Dazzle parade lights up downtown Friday

The day after Thanksgiving, the Christmas season will begin in Jamestown with the Holiday Dazzle on Main Parade.

The parade starts at 7 p.m. Friday in McElroy Park, and proceeds up First Avenue. Viewers should stay south of the railroad tracks.

"It's a great community event. We always have a large turnout of spectators," said Corey Bayer, president of the Main Street Downtown Association. "It's always fun to get everybody together. The weather's supposed to be nice."

According to the National Weather Service, the skies will be mostly sunny during the day, with only a slight chance of rain and snow. The high temperature will be around 44 degrees and the low will be around 26.

There will be grandstands available for people who want to watch the parade, but they should be sure to bring blankets to sit on, said Laurie Julian, ambassador and marketing director with the MSDA.

People often head out onto the parade route early to stake out a good spot. For safety reasons, candy and trinkets will be handed to children along the parade route instead of being tossed.

This year's Holiday Dazzle parade is being sponsored by Otter Tail Power Co., Walz Pharmacy and Eventide at Hi-Acres.

Otter Tail also donated cups and hot cocoa, which the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce's Strive for Five Committee will serve at several stations along the parade route.

About 50 entries will compete for four parade trophies -- Best Dazzle, Best Amateur-Built, Best Civic or Nonprofit and Most Original Theme.

Competition is always stiff, Julian said, and there will be new entrants in the parade as well as many returning favorites. The Salvation Army will bring its giant kettle, and the Sons of Norway will enter the field of competition for the first time.

"Some of them really get into it. I think maybe some movies will come into play, and the usual holiday festive stuff, but it's always interesting to see what people dream up and come up with," Bayer said.

He was reluctant to reveal the themes for specific floats, because "it's always top secret."

The judges this year will be Amanda Brumfield, the current Mrs. North Dakota; Mary Schwartzkopf, Mrs. North Dakota-America 2011; Eliza Potratz, Mrs. Jamestown; Tim Burchill, administrator at Ave Maria Village; and Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen.

"It takes a lot of time to put the parade together, so we hope the community enjoys it as much as we do," Bayer said.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453

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