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Holiday Dazzle Parade set for 13th year

Floats decked in lights and blaring music will make their annual passage through downtown Jamestown for the 13th year this Friday.

The Holiday Dazzle Parade will light up 1st Avenue at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

An after-parade party will follow at the Knights of Columbus Hall, where coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be served. The Jamestown Choralaires will perform, and Santa Claus will make an appearance.

About 40 floats are expected this year, said Lynn Lambrecht, Jamestown Downtown Association president. The number ebbs and flows, Lambrecht said, and one year the parade had about 65 floats. Some businesses have floats every year, and three organizations are participating for the first time, she said.

The floats compete for four awards: Best Dazzle, Most Original Theme, Most Outstanding Amatuer Built and Most Outstanding Civic or Nonprofit. The winners of each category will receive $100, and the winner of Best Dazzle will also receive a trophy, Lambrecht said.

According to the National Weather Service, Friday night will be mostly clear and about 32 degrees with a low around 24 degrees. Lambrecht said no matter what the weather is like, the parade draws a crowd.

"We've been fortunate," Lambrecht said. "The community comes out in strong support, and there's always been a fun atmosphere."

Former Downtown Association member Charlie Kourajian had been involved in the parade more than anyone, Lambrecht said. Kourajian and his wife, Marge, are going to be honored as the parade's grand marshals for the first time this year, Lambrecht said.

"It was an unexpected request, but we are happy to do that," Charlie Kourajian said.

The parade was started in 2003 by Joe Nagel, Kourajian said. He said Nagel started a parade in Bismarck, and thought there should be one in Jamestown as well.

Kourajian said it can be hard to tell how many people watch the parade because many gather inside buildings on 1st Avenue or in their cars. The Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department also sets up bleachers for people to sit on, but most spectators bring their own lawn chairs, Kourajian said.

"It's gotten to be a tradition," Kourajian said. "People look forward to it."