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Ronan celebrates season with parade of lights, holiday raffle

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RONAN — The downtown streets of Ronan filled with spectators for the annual parade of lights Dec. 8. Organized by the Ronan Chamber of Commerce, the event brought in children and adults alike to watch the brightly lit holiday floats parade down Main Street and under the Ronan archway. Chamber member Lacy Cates said “the events get pretty automated over the years which makes it easier and helps to get the businesses involved. We are happy to put the event – it’s great to get the community together”. 

“The parade was different this year since we didn’t have the Lights Under the Big Sky to work with,” she added, “but we made it work and still had a great time.” 

Festively appointed horses and riders also took part in the parade. Sonya Brooks rode her horse Jade in both the Ronan and St. Ignatius parade of lights. “You really have to trust your horse,” she said. “(They have to be) well-balanced and calm so they don’t get spooked when doing this sorta thing.” Jade is a retired roping horse so she’s used to loud events like a parade. Though keeping lights on a moving animal can be challenging, Sonya found that plenty of tape did the trick. “It’s fun to be able to get out of the pasture once in a while and a couple of friends did the Fourth of July parade last year and it seemed fun.” 

Several others horses and riders participated in the parade – including a horse-drawn carriage pulled by two Clydesdales that carried the Grinch and several Whoes down the street

Ronan fire department trucks, police vehicles and a search and rescue float also lit up the night. Businesses with floats in the parade included Johns Fuel Farm with a huge snowman and St. Luke Community Healthcare with a Charlie Brown float. The Ronan Holiday Treasures raffle was held following the parade, while folks drank hot chocolate next to a roaring fire. 

“Our goal this year was for 15 packages ranging from the $800 to $1200 but most of the packages ranged from $900 to $1500 which was great to see,” said Cates. Raffle prizes ranged from a fire pit for your yard all the way to a kayak with a fishing pole. “My favorite part of these events are getting to see how excited people are to win,” Cates added. Fellow chamber member Katie Elliott said she was impressed with “how generous the businesses were and how many people volunteered to come out and help with today’s event.” The Ronan Chamber of Commerce thanks all volunteers and businesses who donated their time to the parade and prizes for the Holiday Treasures raffle.

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