Spectators lined Granville Street near Clark Hall for the return of the Gahanna Holiday Lights! parade Nov. 25.

Spectators lined Granville Street near Clark Hall for the return of the Gahanna Holiday Lights! parade Nov. 25.

About 75 entries lighted up the city.

The parade was suspended in 2010 as a result of increased expenses, but thanks to community support and a variety of fundraising initiatives and sponsorships, the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau brought it back this year.

Whitehall’s Jerry Brooks skipped his Thanksgiving celebration to string about 12,000 red, white and green twinkling lights on his 1955 Seagrave that formerly was used by the Barnesville Volunteer Fire Department.

“I started (stringing lights) at about 7 a.m. (the day before the parade),” he said. “This is the best parade. I really missed it last year.”

Newark’s Alan Stanley participated in the parade with two 11-year-old black Percheron draft horses that sported lighted red ribbons. Hebron’s Ian Sudol drove the team, pulling a carriage decorated with about 1,000 lights. The entry was sponsored by the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District.

“This is my retirement hobby from the Air Force,” Stanley said. “I do some parades and some farming.”

Gahanna’s Susan Jones attended the parade to see her two grandsons on a Boy Scout float.

“I’m very excited the parade is back,” she said. “My son used to be in the Gahanna Lincoln marching band. My favorite part is the band, but the lights make it unique.”

Pataskala’s Terri Paulson also was happy to see the return of the parade.

“My daughter is on the Judy Dollenmayer Dance float,” she said.

Blacklick’s Viveca Clay managed to get a curbside seat along Granville Street at about 5 p.m. for the 6 p.m. kickoff.

“My daughter attends Judy Dollenmayer Dance,” she said. “She will have lights on her hands.”

Gahanna’s Karen Redding has watched the holiday spectacle for four years.

“It’s fantastic,” she said. “This year is 10 times better than the year before. Of course, Santa is my favorite.”

Groveport’s Mark and Anna Parks attended the parade for the first time.

“I saw some signs about it,” she said. “We brought our nieces, Alex and Sarah, from Canal Winchester.”

A requirement for every parade participant is to include some type of lights, said Beverly Metcalf, parade chairperson.

Entries were as simple as shining pompoms carried by Gahanna Junior Drill Team members to as detailed a lighted submarine float from the Columbus base of the U.S. Submarine Veterans. Warm temperatures didn’t hamper the spirit of the celebration either, as several participants, including Glow Putt and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, showcased snow machines.

This year’s parade grand marshal was Sadicka White, retired Gahanna development director who came up with the idea for the Holiday Lights! parade that started in 1999.