Oneida to host Parade of Lights

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ONEIDA — The city of Oneida’s inaugural Parade of Lights will take place Friday, Dec. 3, starting with a visit from Santa Claus at 5:30 p.m.

Ward 2 Councilor Steve Laureti said the city’s invited to join in on the festivities starting with the annual tree lighting. A parade will start lining up along Railroad Street at 6 p.m. It will feature the Oneida Police Department, the Oneida Fire Department, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the Oneida Nation Police Department, and more.

“The parade will run from East Railroad Street and come down Main Street, past the Kallet Civic Center and end at Lenox Avenue,” Laureti said.

The Kallet Civic Center will be open and will feature activities for the family, pictures with Santa Claus, food trucks, vendors, and more until around 8 p.m.

Local businesses are invited to get in on the festivities, with a number already volunteering
to hand out hot chocolate and keep their stores open and
decorated.

There will also be a local theater company with actors and actresses dressed festively for the occasion in the store windows.

Laureti said he and the council wanted to do something different this year — more positive.

“There’s a lot of positive energy in the city, and I think a lot of people want to get involved,” he said. “We thought, ‘Why not take it one step further?’ and make it like the Fall Fest. And maybe, we could do something like this for every holiday.”

Mayor Helen Acker said the Parade of Lights is a fantastic way of getting the community involved and their spirits up — especially after a year of COVID-19 kept everyone locked up for the holidays.

“We really want to make sure people feel free and have a chance to get together with their family and friends,” Acker said. “We’ve been doing the tree lighting for years, and now we’re expanding — bringing some Christmas cheer.”

Businesses interested in getting involved in any way can call the Oneida Parks and Recreation Department at 315-363-6440.

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