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Holiday cheer lights up Ogdensburg

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OGDENSBURG — State and Ford streets were lit up with smiling faces Saturday night as people lined the streets to watch the annual Holiday Light Up the Night Parade, sponsored by the Lisbon and Ogdensburg Lions Clubs and the city of Ogdensburg.

The floats lined up at Ogdensburg Free Academy and paraded down State Street, Ford Street and ended at City Hall, where kids could visit with Santa Claus.

Parade Coordinator Rhonda Roethel said that at the end of the parade, Amvets Post 19 was going to provide a meal for everyone at the parade.

Ms. Roethel said that 70 floats were entered for the parade this year.

“They used to have a parade during the day on a Saturday and no one went,” she said. “This is a new venue and I think it’s going to work for us.”

Ms. Roethel’s sister Laurel L. Roethel said that the Roethel Parcel Service of Ogdensburg had five floats in the parade.

“We provide the float for Santa,” she said. “We do that for the kids each year.”

Mrs. Claus herself was greeting people before the parade began. Dressed in her red velvet dress with white trimming, she said that she loves coming to the parade each year.

“People don’t seem to mind the cold,” said Mary C. Como, Ogdensburg, who dresses as Santa’s wife each year for the parade. “Once it gets started, everyone just gets really excited and involved with what’s going on.”

Ms. Laurel Roethel said that they have the parade before Thanksgiving each year because with Christmas parties, shopping and church events, people wouldn’t have enough time to participate and enjoy the parade.

“It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season,” she said.

Ray J. Cutway, Ogdensburg, coordinates the St. Lawrence County chapter of Toys for Tots, an organization that’s been in this area 11 year.

Mr. Cutway had a display of blow up reindeer, including Rudolph, on top of his truck and trailer, representing the organization that he said “gives kids hope.”

“The parade gets people in the Christmas spirit,” he said.

Linda A. Spencer, Ogdensburg, is hoping the venue for the parade will continue to be in her front yard. Her family was bundled up in blankets in the trunk of a minivan at the end of her driveway on State Street, facing the lit-up street.

Her niece, Marilyn Beldock, Ogdensburg, brought her two daughters, Macy J., 9 months, and Lauren C., 3 years old, to see the parade.

“Lauren’s really excited about the lights and the music,” Mrs. Beldock said.

Ms. Spencer said she hopes to start new traditions on the day of the parade each year with her seven grandchildren.

“We’re going to make it a ritual at my house to make cookies and hot chocolate,” she said.



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