Fill your thermos with hot cocoa, bundle up the family and head downtown for the 35th annual Parade of Lights
. The well-loved Denver holiday tradition features huge balloon characters, local high-school marching bands and dance troupes, tons of floats, thousands of lights illuminating the night, and this years parade grand marshal: Jake Jabs, president of American Furniture Warehouse. "We wanted to include Jake Jabs because of his involvement in the community with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Easter Seals Colorado, and because this is a community event that encourages people to come out with their family and loved ones," says Sarah Neumann, spokeswoman for the Downtown Denver Partnership, which organizes the event.
The parade begins at 8 p.m. tonight and repeats at 6 p.m. tomorrow. You can purchase grandstand seating at the start of the route (at 14th and Bannock streets; $17 for ages thirteen and up, $13 for ages two to twelve), but there are good viewing spots all along the way, and theyre free. "We frequently hear that people like standing by the light-rail lines where they cross over 17th Street," Neumann confides. "The balloons have to do the limbo underneath, and when they pop up on the other side, people always cheer." For more information or to purchase grandstand seating, visit www.denverparadeoflights.com.
Fri., Dec. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 5, 6 p.m., 2009