Ripon Lights up with the Christmas Parade


From a chilly night in Ripon, to the Flaming Hot Cheetos Cheetah, the town’s 6th Annual Christmas Light Parade lit up the night and the crowd’s faces. All along Main Street, families and Riponites gathered hours beforehand to set up their chairs. The President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Donohue, said the winners would be announced within the week.

When this tradition started 6 years ago, there were only a few floats. This year, a whopping 45 floats took part in the parade. This was the most applicants the Chamber of Commerce has ever received for this parade. While there were the usual families in their lit up cars, there were also some larger floats. Donohue says, “There were a few new floats this year. The Cheeto truck, for example.”

Some families have been participating in the parade since its start. The Browns always put their all into improving their floats. This year, their theme was “Elf on the Shelf” and they got a lot of attention from it. With their business of buying and selling homes in mind, the Brown family put together their most creative float yet. Crystal Brown says, “Elf on the shelf is notorious for fishing out of the toilet, so I wanted to fish a golden house key out of a toilet.”

Brown’s parents conveniently had a toilet for her use, but when it was accidentally broken, she had to search for a new one. Brown took to the Ripon Facebook page. With the help of fellow Riponites, Brown was able to complete her float. While driving down Main Street, Brown says many people shouted, “That’s why you needed a toilet!” 

There are a few categories that the Chamber of Commerce uses in order to rank the winners. Those categories include, best motorized participant, best theme fitting float, best hometown spirit, and best overall use of lights. Donohue says, “Each winner will get their own cool trophy!”

The Brown’s winning float in 2021