Lighted parade enchants hundreds in West Frankfort

by BRUCE A. FASOL
Crowds rivaling those of the Old King Coal Festival packed downtwon West Frankfort on Tuesday night for the annual Fantasy of Lights Parade. Warmer temperatures brought out the huge crowd to watch one of the best lighted parades in the town’s history.
West Frankfort begins the area’s illuminated parade season, with other cities such as Herrin, and notably Carbondale, following.
Long time parade watchers say that Tuesday’s line-up was as long and colorful as it ever had been. Veteran marchers like the FCHS band joined newcomers and favorites in the half-hour march of units – and individuals – all creatively lit.
The Main Man of the Season himself rode high above the parade. Santa Claus made his grand entrance atop a West Frankfort Fire Dept. engine. One young lady who had been appreciative of the floats gushed, “Santa, I love you!” as he passed by. And, organizers will tell you that this is the reason they do it each year.

Fantasy of Lights parade Tuesday night in West Frankfort

The 20th Annual Fantasy of Lights parade will be Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in Downtown West Frankfort.

The parade begins at St. John’s Catholic Church and School and heads west down Main Street to the railroad tracks. It features lighted floats, carolers and the big guy, Santa Claus.

After the parade, pictures with Santa will be available in the 100 block of East Main Street.

No Christmas decoration work detail needed this weekend in W.F.

The West Frankfort Chamber of Commerce’s elves will not be needed this year, the Chamber has announced.

The annual Saturday morning work detail to hang Christmas decorations in the city’s downtown area has been cancelled because West Frankfort Street Department crews have been doing the work this week.

Volunteer workers had been scheduled to report at 5 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, but do not need to do so.

City crews will be able to complete the work before Tuesday’s 19th annual Fantasy of Lights parade, West Frankfort Mayor Tom Jordan said.

— Bruce A. Fasol