The Festival of Lights Parade on Friday was simply one of the coolest, most special events we’ve seen in Twin Falls in a very long time.

The crowds were staggering. Thousands of people flocked downtown for the parade, sometimes six or seven people deep, to see about 40 lighted floats. (Don’t forget you can vote for your favorites at Magicvalley.com; the winner will be announced Dec. 13.)

Businesses were packed with shoppers and diners, before, during and after the parade, providing a nice holiday boost to downtown merchants, many of whom were excited to show off new signage and storefronts spruced up during this summer’s downtown renovation.

The crown jewel of that downtown project was the new City Hall, where on Friday scores of people took tours of their newest public building. More than a few were stunned by the design.

Thousands more people followed the fire truck carrying Santa, the last float in the parade, to the public plaza outside City Hall, where city officials lit the Twin Falls Christmas tree.

There where carolers and cocoa, lights and laughter. For one evening, we set aside differences and celebrated our community. It was a night that should make us all proud to be Twin Falls residents.

As organizers and sponsors of the parade, we’d like to thank the community for all its support. We were humbled to see so many residents celebrating in peace and brotherhood. Twin Falls truly is a special community.

Thank you, Twin Falls, and Merry Christmas.

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