“A Christmas Nest” was the theme to the 26th Annual Parade of Lights held in Cortez on Saturday evening. The grand marshal of the holiday parade was the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center, affectionately referred to as The Nest.
“The legend of the Christmas nest is a message of prosperity, and the mission of the child advocacy center is to provide a nurturing environment in the hopes that all children that enter have the opportunity and support to prosper,” said Four Corners Child Advocacy Center director Rose Jergens.
Hundreds of vehicles lined both sides of Main Street for the 2015 holiday parade, which featured some 70 entrants. Although temperatures dipped into the mid-30s, 6-year-old Braelynn, daughter of Kiera and Andrew Coulson, found the best way to beat the cold was sitting atop the hood of her father’s running truck.
“It’s warm,” she said, hoping to receive lots of candy from passing parade floats.
Adorned with blinking lights around her neck – powered by a solar-charged battery pack – Taz Jackson’s secret to staying warm was slightly more primitive.
“Don’t shave your legs,” she said with a chuckle.
Thankful Saturday’s parade was warmer than previous years, Jackson said she attended the festive event to see her daughter, Elisha Mustache, a clarinet player in the Cortez Middle School.
Also observed in the parade was a gingerbread man, a waddle of penguins, ponies with saddle bags filled with presents, the Blue Star Moms, veterans on roaring motorcycles, a live caged goose, a goat on a leash, gymnasts on a mobile trampoline jumping into a nest, Snoopy and even some square dancers.
Watching the 45-minute procession, the Barnett family opted to tailgate, complete with fried chicken, cup cakes and hot chocolate. In addition to the parade, the family also celebrated their daughter, Trista, who turned 11.
“Lots of layers,” Brandi Barnett said braving the chilly conditions.
Judged on music and lights, creativity, theme development and workmanship, first, second and third-place parade floats were awarded cash prizes of $250, $200 and $100, respectively.
Taking first-place honors were the Montezuma County Fair Board in the nonprofits category, Diesel Technology in the commercial category, and the Four Corners Roller Derby team in the miscellaneous category, according to Terry McCabe, of Century 21 West Slope Realty. The parade is sponsored by Four Corners Board of Realtors.
Second-place winners included the Tree House Early Learning Center, Lewis Fire Department and ATC/Stormy’s Gymnastics. Third-place winners included Cortez FFA, Arriola Bible Church and Stotz Equipment.
Dr. Robert Heyl, a Cortez family practitioner with more than 40 years of medical experience, founded the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center in 1993. Today, the organization assists some 300 children annually.