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Christmas in summer?! And other highlights of the Spirit Valley Parade

The Spirit Valley Days Parade in 2013. (Submitted photo)

Christmas is coming early this year. In the 2014 Spirit Valley Days parade, a float from Bentleyville will make an appearance, with special guests Santa Claus and his reindeer. 

The addition of a Bentleyville float is not the only exciting thing to watch for in the parade. 

The parade starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday July 31. It follows 59th Avenue West and Grand Avenue to Central Avenue, South along Central Avenue to Bristol Street, East on Bristol Street, and disburses on Mike Colalillo Drive.

“We have so much that’s new this year,” said Erica John, parade coordinator. “The shriners will be back this year, Bethany’s closet and West Duluth Sewing and Design are having a horse and carriage, and we have the mounted horse patrol.”

Many are looking forward to the return of the shriners after a two-year absence. Their clowns, bugles and dune buggies are a crowd-pleaser.

“I really like the shriners and their dune buggy,” John said. “We’re really excited to get those back this year.”

Floats for the parade come from a variety of groups. Entrants range from businesses to youth groups to politicians.

“We usually have right around 70 floats,” John said. “Parade length averages out to about an hour and a half.”

There will also be plenty of music. The Proctor Marching Band is a confirmed participant and the Superior Marching Band may make an appearance.

“I think everybody will just have a really good time and kids and adults will be entertained,” John said.