LOWELL | Jumping up and down in anticipation, 7-year-old Kendall Powers, of Lowell, called out "Merry Christmas" to those on brightly lit floats passing by, then broke into a dance as Christmas songs filled the air.
It was all part of Friday's Lowell Parade of Lights and Holiday Magic presented by the Lowell Parks Department, town of Lowell and Lowell Chamber of Commerce.
Joining Kendall in his "happy dance" and wishing "Merry Christmas" to the parade entrants was his brother Dylan Powers, 6, and his cousins, Jacob Mendoza, 14, and Devon Jennings, 9, both of Portage. The boys' grandmother, Cindy Jennings of Griffith, said the parade was lots of fun.
Nearby, Julie Lowe, of Lowell, wrapped her hands around a steaming thermos of hot chocolate as her daughters Ava, 10, and Gwyn, 5, soaked up the holiday spirit. "We come every year," Julie Lowe said.
"I like the train that goes around," Ava Lowe said of the Jim's Repair Service of Cedar Lake entry. She said she also really liked the Methodist Hospitals Foundation entry, a snow white fantasy steamboat filled with white-clad royalty.
The smell of fresh popcorn wafted through the air and bells jingled as an homage to "A Christmas Carol" with a nightcap-topped Scrooge intriguing the crowd lining the historic downtown district.
The parade brought not only the Grinch to town, but also the Jolly Old Elf himself. Later, Santa assisted in lighting the town Christmas tree, then visited with children and posed for pictures at Town Hall.
A total of 31 entries provided an hour of fantasy, whimsy, thrills and pleasure. A local landscaping firm, A Touch of Grass, brought its own snowmaking machine, delighting children along the sidewalks.
The event was emceed by Don Holt.