Fairfield to host second annual ‘Parade of Lights’ in a drive-through format

Scenes from the first ever Fairfield Parade of Lights, and the lighting of the Village Green Park, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Scenes from the first ever Fairfield Parade of Lights, and the lighting of the Village Green Park, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Fairfield will host the second annual Parade of Lights at the end of the month at the city’s largest park.

This year’s event will be presented as a drive-through format so spectators can experience the parade as they drive by the illuminated floats and vehicles from the safety of their own cars. The family-friendly event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 29 at Harbin Park, and is free to attend.

“It’s going to look a little different just like everything else this year, taking place at Harbin Park, for an audience that will be in their cars,” said Brittany Theilman, Fairfield’s community events coordinator.

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Community and city parade entrants will decorate illuminated floats and vehicles. Residents and guests will have an opportunity to drive-through and see all of the vehicles from the comfort and safety of their vehicles. Walk-through parades are still prohibited by the Ohio Department of Health, but drive-through parades are permitted.

“Last year, it was like a typical parade. The streets were closed, and people were filling the sidewalks from Pleasant to Wessel to the Village Green and they would stand and watch the parade of lit up vehicles go by. Now that the parade will be reversed, the community will be driving through the parade to limit social gatherings and promote distancing,” Theilman said.

Floats and illuminated vehicles that are part of the parade will remain stationary throughout the duration of the parade. There will be decorated vehicles on each side of the road as participants drive by.

“Right now, we have about 14 signature, approved floats that will be on display,” said Theilman.

For those who would like to be a part of the festivities, there is still time to enter a float, or a vehicle. The city will be accepting parade participants through Monday. Art and cultural organizations, schools, community groups and city departments with illuminated floats and vehicles are invited to apply. There will be a “Best Community” entry and a “Best City Department” entry chosen. Winners will be awarded trophies.

“It’s a great way to market themselves in a fun, festive way. Residents and guests also have a chance to support local restaurants and businesses when they turn out for the event,” Theilman said.

In 2019, the city of Fairfield Parks & Recreation Department won the “Best City Department” entry for “The Grinch.”

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“I’m excited to see the faces of the children, parents and everyone who is driving through this parade, just seeing their faces light up, and for them to see everyone’s creativity with all of the different floats is awesome,” Theilman said, “I love seeing all the floats come to life.”

This year’s participants will include Fairfield City Schools, Fairfield Family YMCA, and Star 93.3. There will be no walking entries this year. Santa will make an appearance, and will be stationed on a float.

“This is not an average night, and it’s a safe, festive way to welcome the holidays. It’s a way for people to bond with their families in the safety of their own vehicles as they see the whole community come together as one,” Theilman said.

How to go

What: Fairfield Parade of Lights Drive-Through

When: Sunday, November 29, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Harbin Park, 1300 Hunter Road, Fairfield

Cost: Free.

More info.: Visit www.fairfield-city.org/572/Fairfield-Parade-of-Lights

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