Parade lights up Main St.

Dressed as gingerbread girls, Trinity Clark, 3, and Elle Lucero, 11, wave to the crowd from The Spring Works float during Saturday’s Parade of Lights along Main Street. The float was designed as the board game Candyland.

Judy Robbins guides her husband Wes along Main Street as he drives Guardian Storage’s golf cart gingerbread house float in the Parade of Lights Saturday. Judy said that the tiny float cost the couple around $300 to build.

Jason Ruf, 7, waves at the crowd from the Ariel Clinical Services float decked out as the Peppermint Forest during the Parade of Lights on Main Street Saturday.

It’s really more fun than it sounds.

That’s the sentiment of Wes Robbins after spending weeks painstakingly constructing a gingerbread-house-shaped float for the 27th annual Parade of Lights with his wife and co-owner of Guardian Storage, Judy.

The two estimate they spent 200 hours and $300 creating the gingerbread-house float, which wrapped around a golf cart and was their first attempt at a Parade of Lights entry.

There were bumps and disagreements about how to resolve them along the way, but the Robbinses say they’re proud of the way the float came together. After getting design ideas from the Internet, the two built a wood frame to stabilize the structure and used hard foam insulation to make the walls and roof of the house. They coated the insulation in layers of “gingerbread spice”-colored paint.

The pair cut out windows so Wes could see where he was driving the gingerbread house on wheels, although peeping out of the windows was still a bit tricky with red cellophane placed over the panes, so he carried a flashlight during the parade.

The cellophane and darkness made it nearly impossible to see the golf cart or its driver inside the gingerbread house, so parade-goers Saturday night in downtown Grand Junction could simply see what looked like a gingerbread house cruising on its own down Main Street, decked out in holiday lights, spray painted snow, gingerbread-men cutouts, and nearly 400 sugar cookies shaped liked stars, circles and, what else, gingerbread men.

Judy baked the cookies herself and used all of them “except for the 10 or 12 we ate,” she said. Some of the cookies were glued to the insulation, but plenty hung in plastic bags on the walls, ready for children or anyone ready for a nibble to pull them down for a snack.

The back of the float, like many entries in the parade, carried a banner promoting the business that created it. Judy said that’s one reason she wanted to participate in the parade.

“We needed some attention,” she said. “Every small business owner in town will tell you things aren’t quite the way they used to be with the economy.”

The Robbinses also wanted to participate to show support for Grand Junction and to try something new.

When they’re done with the float, they’ll place it in front of their business at 459 Willow Road.


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