Holiday parade 'Dazzles' Putnam

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Dec. 2, 2013
The Last Green Valley staff and volunteers prep for the parade. Photos by D. Coffey.
The Last Green Valley staff and volunteers prep for the parade. Photos by D. Coffey.

Grove Street was delightfully chaotic on Dec. 1. Newfoundland dogs and Belgian draft horses shared the road with antique cars and fire engines. An Angry Bird and Cindy Lou Who shared the sidewalk with snowmen and elves. Motorcycles, dune buggies, pickup trucks and trailers lined up one behind another on either side of the street. All of them were decorated in Christmas lights for the 12th annual Holiday Dazzle Parade.

The American Legion Post 13 Color Guard, Mayor Peter Place and Parade Chair Gary Osbrey led the 130-float parade. The Last Green Valley was this year’s parade marshal.  A cast of 200 TLGV ‘green flashers’ followed a trailer decked out in greenery and lights.

TLGV Executive Director Charlene Perkins said the parade was a great way to kick off the 20th anniversary of TLGV’s designation as a national heritage corridor. “This is an organization that cares for the environment, supports the community and celebrates its history,” she said.

The parade is famous for drawing in businesses and organizations from all over northeastern Connecticut. Brownie troops and marching bands, youth sports groups and area churches – everyone is welcome. Outgoing Mayor Peter Place said the parade was a great way to kick off the holiday season. “It’s wonderful for family and friends to get together, and it’s wonderful for the town,” he said.

Sure enough, Grove Street was lined with spectators. Bonfires blazed from front lawns. Crowds gathered on front lawns and porches. The parade promised to draw the same attention along the length of the 1.5-mile route, from Grove Street to Kennedy Drive and the Owen Tarr Sports Complex. Place said up to 20,000 people have come out for the parade in the past.


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