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The light up choo-choo train from a pre­vious parade. Courtesy | Mary Bertakis

Unlike last year, there shouldn’t be any rain on this year’s light-up parade. 

The seventh annual Hillsdale Light Up Parade will happen in downtown Hillsdale on Dec. 7 at 6:15 p.m. The light up parade will feature more than 50 entries, including old-fash­ioned tractors, a choo-choo train, a walking carrot, and walking corn on the cob.

Ken Joswiak, owner of Hillsdale’s Buick GMC, has been involved in the parade throughout the years, and said the parade will feature “a little bit from every­where.”

“It’s a great com­munity event, it draws a lot of people, the kids have a blast out there whether it’s cold or snowing,” Joswiak said. “Seeing all the dif­ferent ways people dec­orate, whether it’s their cars or tractors, or com­mercial vehicles, every year it’s some­thing a little bit dif­ferent.”

Denise Baker, the admin­is­trator of the Hillsdale County Medical Facility, will be the grand mar­shall of the event. This year, the facility was ranked as the top nursing home in all of Michigan, and the parade orga­nizers hope to honor Baker for the accom­plishment. 

“With that as a ranking, we wanted to ride that wave out,” said Mary Bertakis, parade coor­di­nator. “For us to have that com­munity in our neigh­borhood and for our loved ones, it’s an amazing accom­plishment that they got that, and some­times it’s thankless. We thought this would be a great way to thank them.” 

Bertakis encourages everyone to come and cel­e­brate “our little corner of the world.” 

“I was really inspired by this woman when she said, ‘You can’t save the world but you can keep your corner clean.’ And this parade really shows that we are trying to be a part of this world,” Bertakis said. “It’s just a nos­talgic, won­derful thing.”

Those sub­mitting an entry must arrive to the MidTown parking lot between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m. The parade will move down Howell Street from McCollum Street. to Berry Street. 

“I would hope that as many people can come out and be a light in our com­munity, that’s what the parade is about,” Bertakis said.