Parade-goers pack downtown Junction

Thousands cram the sidewalks for Saturday evening’s 29th annual Parade of Lights in downtown Grand Junction. Unseasonably warm weather may have been a factor in the volume of people this year, as the high for the day was 59 degrees.

Little mermaids wave as they ride on the Dance Works float, one of more than 100 entries in the parade. The theme was “A Fairy Tale Christmas.”

Whether it was the allure of holiday lights, the unseasonably warm weather, or both, thousands of people, dozens of horses and a few dogs turned out Saturday for the 29th annual Parade of Lights in downtown Grand Junction.

People of all ages were stacked nearly 12 deep at some places along the Parade of Lights route to catch a glimpse of some 100 entries.

In a break from Parade of Lights tradition, the weather for the duration of the parade stayed warm, according to the National Weather Service.

In fact, it was nearly 50 degrees when the parade started at 5 p.m., giving children the chance to run around without coats and adults the chance to keep their stocking hats and gloves stashed in their cars.

Grand Junction’s Michelle Davidson, who lives near the parade route and avoided the nightmare of finding a parking place, had a Santa hat on her head and a smile on her face when noting that the volume of people this year likely had a lot to do with the weather.

It was the third time she has gone to the Parade of Lights, and this year’s was easily the warmest, Davidson said.

In addition to the weather, this year’s parade got another boost with the inclusion of a new sponsor, Sorter Construction, a local company celebrating 60 years in operation.

Not only did Sorter Construction help sponsor Parade of Lights, the business also was the primary contractor in the recently completed Downtown Uplift project to beautify and update Main Street.

Owner Bill Ogle said the company has a sense of pride about Main Street after the work it did, so sponsoring the Parade of Lights made sense.

Sorter Construction took it one step further by entering a float inspired by the tale of the Three Little Pigs to go with this year’s theme: “A Fairy Tale Christmas.”

Sorter employees and family members hung 2,300 feet of LED lights — Tyler Ogle, Bill’s son, counted — on three skidloaders that were transformed into the straw house, the stick house — tamarisk was used for sticks, which Bill Ogle was happy about — and the brick house.

“We are dirt diggers,” Ogle said of Sorter’s decision to go with building homes and using construction materials. “This is what we do. We wanted to build something everyone could participate in.”

Judges will award cash prizes in four categories this year: performance, organization, business and youth groups.

Pick up a future copy of The Daily Sentinel for results.

SALT LAKE CITY — Women would be prohibited from having abortions based on whether they want a boy or a girl under legislation proposed by a Utah lawmaker.

State Sen. Margaret Dayton also is considering preventing women from getting abortions based on the race of a baby.

Planned Parenthood of Utah Executive Director Karrie Galloway opposes the Orem Republican’s proposed “Gender Selection Abortion Prohibition” bill.

She says she views the bill as a “solution looking for a problem” because she’s unaware of any abuse concerning such abortions.


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