Durand light parade moves to Saturday, includes multiple events

A semitruck drives through downtown in the 2017 Durand Light Parade.

DURAND — Santa returns to Durand for his annual light parade throughout downtown Saturday.

Santa's Light Parade is put on by the Durand Downtown Development Authority and Durand Union Station.

The parade and the celebration afterward at the Durand Union Station take place Saturday. For the first time this year, the parade will be on a Saturday rather than Friday.

“This year is a little bit different because in the past we have done all the activities on a Friday and we're trying Saturday this year. We felt we could include the downtown business district much better if we had it as an all-day event on Saturday,” Durand Union Station’s Executive Director Mary Warner-Stone.

The Durand Union Station will host its annual Festival of Trees from 10 a.m until 5 p.m.

“We have over 40 Christmas trees that are decorated by local families businesses and civic groups and people can come to view them at no charge,” Warner-Stone said.

Santa’s Light Parade begins at 6 p.m. the parade will feature a number of vehicles decked out in lights. The parade lines up on Oakland Street.

Santa will ride on a fire truck, making a stop at the clock tower to light the city Christmas tree.

He will then be driven to the depot where children can visit him from 6;30 to 9 p.m. Santa will be at the depot from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for younger kids to visit.

The depot will have a number of kid-friendly events going on. There will be two different crafts they can make, reindeer food and a Christmas tree ornament.

The Durand madrigals will perform; there are about 20 Durand High School students who make up the group.

State Farm agent Bart Harris will read children’s Christmas stories.

Recently, in preparation for the holiday season, its busiest time of the year the Durand Union Station rolled out sensory inclusive bags.

The bags are provided at no cost to museum guests and include a pair of sunglasses, earplugs, a fidget toy and a set of nonverbal communication cards. The museum will also provide over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones upon request.

“The idea for the bags came mostly from us recognizing that a lot of our guests that come into the museum on a daily basis are on the autism spectrum,” museum curator Mike Boudro said.

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