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Coeur d'Alene celebrates annual holiday lighting celebration

Hundreds of people flooded the streets of downtown Coeur d'Alene to watch the holiday lighting parade. The parade featured 40 different floats and marches.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — It's never too cold, or too wet, to get into the holiday spirit. That was definitely the case Friday night in Coeur D'Alene for the annual lighting ceremony parade.

Lit up cars, high school bands, and even Santa Claus.

All of these were just some of the sights spotted at the parade.

The city celebrated the event's 35th year Friday night. 

"I love it. I love the community that we have as part of the community myself. I have a small business here as well. I feel like it's such a community based event," said Hannah Smith, who grew up watching the parade.

According to the Coeur D'Alene downtown association, an estimated 40 different floats and attractions took part in the parade.

Executive Director Emily Boyd says the parade's special for many reasons. 

Boyd said, "One is that it brings the community come together. It's a free event that anyone can come down. It's also great for the small businesses downtown so they can get foot traffic."

Boyd says it takes about a month to get everything organized for one night of festivities. 

She says the turnout for this year's parade was one of the largest crowds she's seen.

As for those selected to be in it, well, they also know how special it is.

"Being part of the schools, the schools are the community. Everybody has kids, cousins, grandkids, that all go to school and at lake city the band is such an integral part of everything that we do so it's really important for us to be here," said Shad Frazier, the band director at Lake City High School.

Onlookers say this year's crowd was one of the largest they've seen.

For some, the parade is a family tradition.

"We love having our family over to just come watch it. I think we have the best view. My sister back there always has a birthday party so I can eat cake," said Annabelle DeCuire, who watched the parade from her house.

The parade is every year the day after thanksgiving and it always ends with a lighting ceremony and a big fireworks show.

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