The annual Night of Lights Holiday Parade is a good time to recognize a few of the people who make a difference.
This year’s parade will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and move along North Vermilion Street in downtown Danville before ending at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation’s Festival of Trees at the David S. Palmer Arena.
The parade is sponsored by Downtown Danville, Inc., Downtown Danville Rotary, Provena USMC Foundation and Vermilion Chevrolet Buick GMC.
The parade route starts at Williams Street traveling south down North Vermilion Street and ending at Main Street.
Leading off this year’s parade will be several grand marshals, according to a press release. The first in the line-up of grand marshals is Dave Warga, general manager at Vermilion Chevrolet Buick GMC. Besides his business being the evening sponsor for the evening’s festivities, Warga and his employees are active in the community and support local groups.
Second in the line-up of grand marshals is Downtown Danville Rotary President Jennifer Dixson. In addition to being the leader of this downtown service club that reaches both locally and internationally, she also volunteers her time to many great causes as well as works hard to provide high quality musical entertainment locally as executive director of the Danville Symphony Orchestra.
The third grand marshal is Patricia Bowers. Many in the local volunteer world know Pat because she works hard for the community quietly and behind the scenes. She dedicates countless hours to many local causes including DDI, CASA, the Fischer Theatre, the Festival of Trees and others. Bowers will be driven through the parade by her husband, John, who also is a big supporter of local causes, and their grandson, Mitchell, will be their escort in the passenger seat.
Accompanying Bowers in her car will be snow princesses, her granddaughter Kathryn Bowers and Sydney Schaumburg, who will use their wands to light the trees downtown as they come through the parade.
Kathryn and Mitchell Bowers are the children of Kori and Marcy Bowers of Danville. Sydney Schaumburg is the daughter of Dana Schaumburg of Danville and Jaci and Michelle Schaumburg of Bismarck.
After the parade, the winning floats and Santa in his sleigh will arrive to the festival for an evening of fun. The festival will be open from 3-9 p.m. today with free admission with a donation of a non-perishable food item.
Visitors also will be able to watch the creation of an ice sculpture out of a block of ice.