Landing on what may have been the last evening of pleasant weather for the year, Saturday’s Lighted Christmas Parade in downtown Beatrice couldn’t have asked for much better conditions.
On Monday night, members of the Beatrice City Council thanked the Beatrice Chamber of Commerce, who organized the parade, for a job well done.
Chamber Executive Director Lora Young estimated that there were about 5,000 people in attendance for the third annual parade.
Participants included local businesses, churches and schools and several city of Beatrice vehicles were all lit up for the event. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer even came dressed as a reindeer.
Council member Rick Clabaugh told Young that the parade was a success and that it was great to see so many people out on Fifth Street for the event. Young thanked the city and Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang for their assistance.
“I just really want to thank so much the city and all the departments for all their help,” Young said. “It was wonderful seeing Tobias in the parade. Chief, thank you, we really couldn't do it without the city. So, we are really appreciative and I wanted to say a public thank you very much. It was an awesome night.”
The horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa Claus, organized by Main Street Beatrice, drew so many people that they had to extend the hours of operation by another hour to accommodate the 500 or so people in line, Main Street Beatrice Executive Director Michael Sothan said.
Stretching from Brown’s Shoe Fit on Court Street all the way past Clabaugh Pharmacy and around the corner, people stood in line, waiting to take a ride around town with Santa.
"People were just so excited and almost all of them were planning on coming to the parade later on," Sothan said. "You couldn’t have asked for anything better."
Council member Rich Kerr said having so many people in town was great because many went out to eat after the parade. He also encouraged residents to continue shopping in Beatrice throughout the holiday season.
When people do their shopping in Lincoln or on the internet, that money doesn’t come back to Beatrice, Kerr said, to either store owners or in taxes. He asked residents to check local shops for items they’d like and said that if they don’t have them, to ask and maybe they can get it.
“I hope the media will say some things in the radio and the paper to urge our citizens to buy here in Beatrice,” Kerr said. “Our shop owners spend money here, they pay taxes here, we should be buying here.”