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PONTIAC — Pontiac will welcome the holiday season with its annual Christmas Light Up Parade, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in the downtown area.

This event, sponsored by PROUD, the downtown development organization, draws more than 2,000 people each year, said organizers. In addition to the floats, including Duncan the Dragon, Toyland Express Train, Noel Angel, Snowman, Butterfly Garden, and The Grinch, local businesses and other agencies will be participating.

For the first time, the Red Fez Shriners and their mini-cars will be in the parade.  Santa Claus will be escorted by Jingle Bell, also known as Myles Gilliam, son of Ron and Shawna Gilliam, and Misses Jingle, who will be portrayed by Raya and Reese Bohm, the daughters of Robby and Audra Bohm.

Santa will be in his house in downtown right after the parade and is available for visits from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and the following Saturdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. He also will be home from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, and the following Mondays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Kids can get their photos taken with Santa and can bring their pets, too.

PROUD also is still accepting registration for the parade. There is no entry fee. Call the office at 815-844-6692 or visit www.pontiacproud.org for more information.

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