What Goes into A Parade of Lights Float?

A lot of hard work, and devotion

For 25 years, the parade of lights has lit up downtown Sioux Falls as the official kick off to the holiday season.

Dozens of floats stroll down Phillips Avenue, in an illuminated display that brightens the streets as well as people’s holiday spirits.

But before they can make their grand trek down the route, the elaborate floats have to come together fist.

“I figured we’d do it for like 5 hours and we’d be done,” said Briana McCarty. “A few days later, I was like, ‘Oh goodness.”

The First Bank and Trust team spent 72 hours putting their latest creation together.
It’s their 5th year in the parade with this year’s theme being “Jingle Bell Rock.”
They decked it out with everything musical and lots of lights.

“It’s a really surreal feeling to just watch it go from a blank canvas to something that just glows. My goal was to see it from outer space, so we’ll see!” said McCarty.

The Lebahn family’s float was also a sight to see. The triple trailer train float had everything from lights, sounds, and cute characters.

With a new theme every year, creating a float for the parade is a tradition in this family, influenced by one of its youngest members.

“We started 12 years ago when our nephew had bone cancer,” said Marlin Lebahn. “We wanted to do something to get the family together, and that’s one of the ways we decided to do it.”

It’s a year of firsts for the crew at Concrete Materials, taking what they know best and turning it into a lighted display.

Nearly four thousand lights draped around one of the company’s concrete mixers.

“The hardest part for us was figuring out how to run the drum while it was actually driving, because we knew if the drum wasn’t working it wouldn’t look nearly as good,” said Andrew Henning.

DTSF reports record attendance of over 23,000 people for the 25th Annual Parade of Lights.