Memories made at Lights Parade

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Clarkston High School students Grace Sielinski and Garrett Bailey remember heading to downtown Clarkston when they were kids to watch the lights and being on the floats during the holiday parade.
Now both are members of the high school’s Team RUSH 27 Robotics team, and are excited to be part of the 19th Annual Holiday Lights Parade, set for Saturday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.
“The coolest part about it was remembering going when I was little and seeing the Team RUSH banner, the same one we use and put on the back of the trailer now,” she smiled. “I went to a summer camp there. Now I get to be a part of it, it’s really cool.”
This year’s theme is Holiday Cinema Classics and the ideas are endless, with “Miracle on 24th Street,” “Babes in Toyland,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” just as starters.
“I am excited to see the floats,” said Logan Rajala. “It’s always fun as the floats start coming in and seeing all the ideas. There are a lot of different ways you can go with it. It will be fun to see what people thought of and how they took the theme.”
“I am excited about the theme this year,” said Audrey DeKoninck. “I am really pumped to see the ideas floats come up with to incorporate that with STEM.”
Sielinski added it can be anything to do with the holidays.
“It doesn’t have to be ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,'” she said. “Also, it’s a great way to interact it with STEM because of the technology used in making movies and the cameras we are relating to our program.”
Team RUSH has started working on their float and their inspiration is under wraps. Bailey said his favorite thing about it, is it’s something the students do every year.
“We wrap ourselves in lights and get kind of insane with it because of the light fest,” he said.
“I am excited since last year I wasn’t able to participate in the parade because I had a family event in Canada,” said Isabella Kupe. “This is going to be my first time participating in the parade and since I haven’t seen what it’s like, I am excited for the first experience.”
The floats and participants begin arriving and lining up at Renaissance High School from 4-4:45 p.m.
“One of my favorite parts is the beginning of the parade when we are in the Renaissance parking lot and all the floats start to line up and come in,” said Evan Bennett. “It’s really cool to see all the Cub Scouts and Girls Scouts troops, or anyone who made a float. There are some really cool floats every year.”
The float judging begins at 5 p.m. Awards are: Clarkston Schools Wolf Pride, sponsored by The Clarkston News; Most Creative STEM Float, sponsored by Diez Group; Best Use of Lights or Music, Berkshire Hathaway; Best Holiday Spirit, Genisys Credit Union; Best Use of Theme, Union Joints; and Best Overall Entry, Team RUSH.
“One of the things we are excited about this year’s parade is we have a Clarkston Wolves Pride Award,” Sielinski added. “It’s going to be given out to a Clarkston Community Schools organization that enters the parade and shows Clarkston pride. The winner is going to get $100.”
The parade begins at 6 p.m. at Renaissance. The route is Church Street to Main Street to Miller Road to Glenburnie Road to Snowflake Drive, then ends at Calvary Lutheran Church. The church will have a tree lighting when Santa Claus arrives, close to 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a really neat event down there,” said Kyle Hughes, adding Calvary makes it a fun, family event. Visit www.teamrush27.net/holiday-lights-parade.