Large crowds greet Holiday festivities

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Mild weather added to a large turnout for the 17th annual Holiday Parade of Lights and the second annual Holiday in the Park. The parade down New Prague’s Main Street ended at Memorial Park with a variety of festivities. "I thought it was fantastic," said Kristy Mach, executive director of the New Prague Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the event. There were about 13 units in the parade that went east on Main Street. Various organizations participated from businesses to clubs. Mach said this year there were no prizes for the best floats. One difference was that as the parade neared Memorial Park, the crowds lining the streets grew in number. "I was surprised to see so many people at Memorial Park," said Mach. This year the Holiday in the Park included activities from last year and new ones. There was the Reindeer Dash where children 10 and under lined up in one of the ballparks to scramble to grab a goodie bag. Mach said there were 500 bags that contained various items, spread out in the outfield. "I think everyone got one, because they were all gone," said Mach. During the dash children were asked to share if they saw someone without a bag. Other events included visits with Santa, carols by the New Prague choir Hymnus and a tree lighting ceremony. Santa lit the pine tree sprinkled with 5,500 LED lights that will remain lit through the Holidays. Mach said the local Boy Scouts were generous by providing three small bonfires in portable fire pits. Closing the night were fireworks by RES Specialty Pyrotechnics. People told Mach they enjoyed being able to see a terrific fireworks show up close. "People thought it was a great night," said Mach. 

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