2021 Lights Fantastic Parade

Mark Lenzini

This 2021 December saw the return of the Lights Fantastic Parade in Carbondale Illinois. The past year the Lights fantastic parade was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this Christmas it makes its roaring return just in time for the Holidays. The parade goes down the main strip of Carbondale where everyone can see Christmas themed floats. This was the first Lights Fantastic Parade in two years! 

“So, like every year I did enjoy the parade, I would say my favorite part would have to be the Shriner cars, just because its iconic to the parade.” 

The parade has been featuring floats for 30 years, some floats in the parade consist of multiple marching bands such as, Carbondale High School, Carbondale Middle School, Carterville High School, Shawnee Marching Redskins, and SIU Marching.  

“The parade went really well for the band, we got a lot of positive feedback from our community and the kids seemed to have fun, we invite a couple of grade schools to come perform with us and those kids seemed to have a really good time.” 

The CCHS band also had a few weeks of preparations for the parade, overall, the band did amazing, great job guys! 

“The preparation was preparing the music and memorizing the music inside and then we took that music outside and put it out as we marched and paraded, we got one chance to practice with the other bands that were there, they came over to the high school and practice with us on the track on Thursday prior to the event, and then it was off to the races.” 

The parade also features unique floats like a small UFO, and both new and old vehicles covered in Christmas lighting and decorations. Other parade participants consist of Hurst and Carbondale Fire, Carbondale Police, WSIL 3, and the extremely popular Shriner cars. 

“It was nice because compared to past years where there’s been snow on the ground and terrible weather conditions it was a decently warm evening” 

The 2021 Lights Fantastic Parade lasted around 2 hours and included over 60+ floats, the 2022 Lights Fantastic Parade will continue the 30-year long tradition next year.