50 entries so far for parade of holiday lights

More entries expected for the Holiday Dazzle Drive By Neighborhood Christmas Parade

Holiday lights and decor
These air-filled festive yard decorations as seen in northeast Jamestown will greet those driving around, day or night, looking at holiday lights and decor. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Interest is strong in the Holiday Dazzle Drive By Neighborhood Christmas Parade and people have until Dec. 17 to register their Christmas light entry, said Lynn Lambrecht, president of the Jamestown Downtown Association.

“The comments we have got on our Facebook page … have been really positive,” Lambrecht said.

There were 50 entries as of Friday afternoon and Lambrecht said she expects more to register.

The Holiday Dazzle Drive By Neighborhood Christmas Parade was created as an alternative to the 16th annual Holiday Dazzle Parade, which was canceled due to COVID-19. People are encouraged to enter addresses of their decorated homes or businesses for prizes, and they will be voted on by the public, who can drive by and view them on their own schedule. But Lambrecht said any floats that were already made for the canceled parade can still be entered by submitting a photo of the float. Commercial and residential entries are also encouraged, and Lambrecht said she would like to see more commercial entries, noting some displays at downtown businesses are “amazing.”

“Don’t wait until the 17th (of December) to get your address on (the website),” she said. People can still do that through Dec. 17 but if they want to be included in the voting, sooner would be better to register an address because more votes could be cast for the entry.


The event is sponsored by the Jamestown Downtown Association. People may register entries at or Voting is expected to begin next week, and the winners will be announced on Dec. 18, she said.

The top three entries with the most votes will receive cash prizes of $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. TED FM and will produce a video of the displays that will be available for viewing the week of Christmas and will highlight the winners.

Lambrecht said people are driving around looking at the light displays and were asking about the addresses as early as Thanksgiving. The addresses for entries are posted on . Lambrecht said the event was put together quite quickly due to the cancellation of the Holiday Dazzle Parade so the list of addresses on the website isn’t as user friendly as she’d like. But people have reacted very positively to the event, she said.

“It’s been well received and I just - I’m so glad that people have kind of taken advantage of it,” she said. “I would expect to see more entries this weekend …,” noting the weather will be in the 40s and more people may have time to put Christmas lights up.

She said it’s a good activity for people during this time as well.

“We’re always looking for something to do with the family outside the house,” she said. Driving around to look at the lights is something people can do and make it a fun event that could support small businesses as well. People could have Christmas music playing in their vehicle and enjoy snacks like theater popcorn and mini donuts (available from a vendor at the mall on Saturday) and hot chocolate while looking at some of these “gorgeous displays,” she said.

Hoyt Paul, 12, of Jamestown, is combining his family’s entry in the Holiday Dazzle Drive By Neighborhood Christmas Parade with his 6th annual Bags of Love - Be A Light food drive to help Community Action Region VI food pantry. Hoyt has conducted the food drive since 2015, typically going door-to-door with a letter explaining the food drive and a donated Gate City Bank cloth bag for people to donate nonperishable food items. But his mother, Courtney Paul, said that the coronavirus pandemic changed how Hoyt would do the food drive. So this year, Hoyt has placed a box for nonperishable donations by the curb outside the family’s home at 613 17th St. NW and collects the donated items each night. Hoyt also accepts monetary, PayPal or Venmo donations.

Courtney said they usually have lights on display outside the home but this year they expanded it and thought entering the event would be another way to publicize Hoyt's food drive. Hoyt has also placed a sign outside the home to bring attention to the food drive, which continues through Dec. 27.


“We’re getting quite a bit of money but we’re not getting as many food donations this year (so far),” he said. “But with the money we’re going to go shopping” and hopefully will be able to get quite a few food items, he said.

The annual food drive has collected a total of 5,281 pounds of food since 2015, Courtney said.

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