The number of attendees and parade participants were at an all-time high Monday to make a huge success of the 6th Annual Twin Cities Holiday Celebration. Onlookers lined the streets to view the Parade of Lights with a theme of “Celebrating Cultural Holidays.”
Pre-parade activities were held at Auburn City Hall and the Lewiston Public Library, including story time, arts and crafts, a holiday sing-a-long and physical comedy by performer Michael Trautman, the latter sponsored by L/A Arts.
The Parade of Lights commenced in Auburn and ended its route at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston, with Dunkin’ Donuts providing snacks at Festival Plaza in Auburn as parade onlookers waited patiently for the parade to begin.
Throughout the evening, festivities at Dufresne Plaza included music by Dionne Entertainment, free horse and wagon rides by Stillbrook Acres, free Photo Finish photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, performances by the Lewiston High School and Edward Little High School choral groups, snacks compliments of the Salvation Army, lighting of the Christmas tree and Menorah, visits with costumed characters, and holiday wishes extended by Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald, Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonté and Rabbi Hillel Katzir.
In addition, December 2012 cultural holidays that were highlighted included Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Saint Nicholas Day, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican), St. Lucia Day (Swedish), Las Posadas (Mexican), Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, and Irish), Omisoka (Japanese) and Bodhi Day.
Mayors Macdonald and LaBonté served as judges for the three float categories, with Gritty McDuff’s winning Best Business Float; Twin City Titans winning Best Youth Float; and the Franco-American War Veterans Post 31 winning Best Non-Profit Float. Buffalo Wild Wings, Sam’s Italian, and Pat’s Pizza provided float prizes.
Parade of Lights participants were: Lewiston and Auburn Police Departments, Oxford Networks, LA Mayors, Lewiston High School (LHS) Cheerleaders, Sparky the Fire Dog, Rudolph, Monty the Moose, LHS Air Force Jr. ROTC Cadets, Auburn Elementary Choral Groups, Northeast Charter Company, Auburn Public Works, Twin City Titans, Gleason Radio, Randy Robbins, Boy Scout Troop 137, Auburn Fire Department, LA Cab, Community Credit Union, GSME Dirigo Service Unit, Emerson Toyota, Edward Little High School Marching Band, Austin Associates, River Valley Girl Scouts, Dead River Company, Lewiston Public Works, Lewiston Fire Department, United New Auburn Association, Cub Scout Pack 111, LHS US Military Cadets Color Guard, Franco-American War Veterans Post 31, Gritty McDuff’s, Auburn Water & Sewer District, Support Solutions, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 31, River Valley Red Cross, and Santa & Mrs. Claus.
Oxford Networks was the event’s premiere sponsor, with festivities once again facilitated by the Lewiston Downtown Holiday Celebration Committee and the Auburn Business Association. Those thanked for donating goods and/or services were Cote Crane, Temple Shalom, LA Arts, Salvation Army, Dunkin Donuts, Pat’s Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sam’s Italian, and Austin Associates.
Appreciation was also extended to the Lewiston High School/Edward Little High School choral groups and the Lewiston and Auburn Public Works, Police and Recreation Departments. Christmas trees for Lewiston and Auburn were donated this season, respectively, by Gerry and Simone Mathieu and Susan Getchell.
Santa and Mrs. Claus made a grand entrance in The Parade of Lights during the 6th Annual Twin Cities Holiday Celebration.
Happy Crew at the Twin Cities Holiday Celebration: (l. to r.) Joline Banaitis, deputy director of the Lewiston Recreation Dept.; Lewiston Police Sgt. Dave Chick; and Dottie Perham-Whittier, community relations extraordinaire for the City of Lewiston.