Lighted Christmas parade will return to Princeton in 2024

More than 40 floats registered; awards handed out to best floats

Jim Argo of the Princeton Lions Club and Jenica Cole of the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce speak Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, during the Princeton City Council meeting about the success of the inaugural lighted Christmas parade.

For those who had a good time Friday at Princeton’s inaugural lighted Christmas parade, there was good news shared at Monday’s City Council meeting – the parade will return in 2024.

Deemed a success by the Princeton Lions Club and Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce, the parade had 42 registered floats and drew positive comments.

“I think it drew the biggest crowd yet,” said Jim Argo of the Princeton Lions Club, which hosted an annual Christmas parade during daylight hours in a different format before this year. “We’ve heard a lot of positive comments and we’re going to continue it for another year.”

The lighted parade coincided with an evening of activities, which included the Christmas tree lighting and candy cane scavenger hunt.

Chamber Director Jenica Cole said Princeton, Hall and Bureau Valley high school bands came together to provide live music for the festivities and marched in the parade. She said with Spring Valley also hosting a lighted parade – with their event scheduled the Saturday after Thanksgiving – there is an opportunity for parade participants to take part in both processions. Next year’s lighted Christmas parade is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6, 2024.

Argo and Cole reminded residents the parade also served as a campaign to donate non-perishable food items to the Bureau County Food Pantry. The pantry still is taking donations through Dec. 15. The pantry has reported 60% more demand from the previous year.

Argo and Cole thanked Princeton Police Chief Tom Kammerer and Adam Lind, of the Bureau County Emergency Management Agency, for helping organize the event. Other parade committee members were Scott Smith, of the Princeton Lions Club and Michlig Energy; Lynn Olds, of Greenfield Retirement Home; Vanessa Hoffeditz, of Tri-County Opportunities Council; Dava Klinefelter, of Liberty Village of Princeton; Tim Bissonette, of Midwest Incentive Solutions LLC; Melanie VanDorsten, of Liberty Village of Princeton; Jason Allen, of Allegion; and Patrick Lilley, and the Princeton Moose Lodge.

Trophies were handed out to the best parade floats. Argo awarded City Manager Theresa Wittenauer the trophy for the electric department’s winning float in the city/government category. The Princeton, Hall and Bureau Valley high school bands won the schools category; Michlig Energy won the commercial category; First Christian Church won in the churches category; and the Mistletoe Misfits won in the individuals/families category.

Princeton Lions Club member Jim Argo hands a trophy Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, to Princeton City Manager Theresa Wittenauer for the electric department's winning float in the government category of the lighted Christmas parade.