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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: December 19, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
YUMA, Ariz. — The 17th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Light Parade took place on Saturday, December 14th. A favorite tradition for nearly a generation, the parade draws more than 40,000 Yuma residents and visitors to the Historic North End each year to celebrate the holiday season. This year the memorable event included nearly one hundred lighted, festive entries.
With 18 schools and 12 youth groups, it's easy to see why the parade draws such a crowd and involves so many families and organizations in the Yuma area. The Electric Light Parade is the largest parade in Yuma each year. Spectators were more than five people deep on some parts of the parade route, and the entire route was filled with enthusiastic spectators. Many people had set out their folding chairs or blankets by noon along Main Street and 4th Avenue. "We had a really, really good night," said manager Maria Ozuna, at the 4th Avenue Little Cesars pizza shop. With parade-watchers filling the sidewalks and parking lots around 4th Avenue, "we were barricaded in by so many people," she said, "but we kept up and kept making pizzas!" she shared.
Award winners for the 2019 Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade have been announced by Visit Yuma, which organizes the popular annual event. The parade's theme was “Light Up Yuma With the Arts." This year, all but one category have a winner who hasn't won previously, and some parade entries were from new organizations or groups who hadn't previously taken part in the parade.
"People love this parade. I mean, really love this parade," said Linda Morgan, Visit Yuma's Executive Director. "This year the high energy and high quality was evident--groups put so much work into making their entries elaborate and dazzling. You can't help but get into the holiday spirit and be joyful; the energy and excitement is evident as the parade comes through," she said.
The following entrants won top honors in the 17th annual presentation of the festive, well-attended holiday parade:
Mary Jane Allen Award for Best Depiction of Parade Theme:
Southwestern Palliative Care and Hospice, for The Art of Nursing
Palmcroft Elementary School, for their portrayal of elves who wished to be Elvis, complete with dark hair, white jumpsuits, guitars and Elvis music.
Big Red Barn Preschool
Best Walking/ Performing:
Gadsden Folkloric Group
Dorothy Young Memorial Trophy Best Performing Band:
San Luis School Marching Band
Visit Yuma thanks parade sponsors APS, Southwest Gas, Lockheed Martin, and Yuma International Airport.
The parade is named in honor of its creator, Dorothy Young, a much-loved event coordinator with City of Yuma Heritage Festivals, who had often indicated that the Electric Light Parade was her favorite event. Mary Jane Allen, whose name is attached to the Best Depiction of Parade Theme, was involved with the parade from its beginning when Dorothy Young asked her and Lenore Stuart to be judges. "She was well known for her love of Christmas and enjoyed wearing a colorful Christmas Santa hat with loads of decorations. I looked forward to working with her every year," said Lenore Stuart.
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