"Christmas in small town America" - Ida, MI has largest parade o - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

"Christmas in small town America" - Ida, MI has largest parade of lights in Midwest

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)

Ida, Michigan opens its holiday doors to the world one day a year.

The 35th annual Christmas in Ida Festival is Saturday.

The highlight is the largest parade of lights in the Midwest.

The two hour parade sparkles and twinkles every year attracting as many as 48,000 visitors.

A board of ten people work year round on activities.

Then a committee of thirty meet in September to pull everything together including the parade entries.

"Actually they’re not chosen they just give us an entry form. Open it up to anybody who wants to build a float and we’re averaging 120 last ten years,” said Dale Zorn of the festival.

Earlier in the day, there’s a smaller parade called Holiday Hounds.

It’s for dogs.

In addition, there’s a free country concert by Collin Raye, a craft mall, Santa Claus, living nativity and chicken bowling with frozen chickens.

The big parade kicks off at 7:00 p.m..

Beforehand there’s fireworks.

Free shuttle parking is available all day because of the large crowds.

“People come to Ida from throughout the Midwest because this is Christmas in small town America” adds Mr. Zorn.

And it’s hard to beat that.  

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