Festival of Lights Parade a success

By Beau Ebenezer

November 17, 2012 Updated Nov 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Whether it's a smoke-breathing dragon or good old Saint Nick, the Festival of Lights Parade in East Peoria doesn't seem to disappoint.

Just ask East Peoria High School Senior, Luc Joseph.

"I have not missed a parade since I've been born. I've gone to every single one. So, this would be my seventeenth parade. And the family has always just gone. It's just something we do," said Joseph.

Joseph reserved his spot early, with the best seat in the house, his couch.

"This is the fourth one this couch has seen. It's comfy. A lot more comfy than most people out here," said Joseph.

As the regulars continue to come back year after year, there are still some out of towners, who are starting their own "lights" tradition.

"It's awesome to be here, and my 4-year-old nephew is the whole reason for the event. Just seeing him is joy," said Decatur resident Jennifer Pruett.

This year's parade had 33 total floats, all of which now feature LED lights.

The parade also ran one week earlier this year, to make sure no one missed any of the action.

"We've had a lot of residents tell us that they haven't seen the parade because they were out of town over Thanksgiving visiting family. So, we thought we would try it this year, see how it goes, and really we have had a lot of people be really receptive to it," said Public Relations Coordinator, Jill Peterson.

A new float was not added to this year's parade like in the past, but considering the overwhelming turn out, it didn't seem to break anyone's holiday spirit.

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