Here are five things to know about tonight’s Festival of Lights Parade through downtown Columbus.
1) Where/when: The 6 p.m. 27th annual 2017 Festival of Lights Parade begins at Fifth and Brown streets in downtown Columbus. It follows a one-mile route, mostly along Washington Street, and attracts 7,000 to 10,000 people.
2) What you’ll see: 100 parade units, led by a Columbus Police Department car with sirens deployed. Among other entries: Four school bands, Mayor Jim and first lady Pam Lienhoop, Scouts, an Indy 500 race car, fire department units and grand marshal Chelsi Dreyfus, the Mt. Healthy fifth-grader who won QMIX Christmas Musical Fireworks’ poster contest.
3) Santa: He’ll be toward the back of the 90-minute parade, entry 98, followed by one of the bands and parade banner carriers.
4) Full house: The 100-unit capacity, based on physical space available in the staging area, was reached Nov. 2, with about 15 additional entry inquiries fielded, parade committee member Joyce Lucke said.
5) Weather: Unlike the 2013 parade, which had to be canceled when nearly a foot of snow fell, as well as dropping temperatures that hit zero, tonight’s forecast is a balmy 46 degrees for the step-off. Evening ends with fireworks, choreographed to pop-rock Christmas favorites, starting by 7:30 p.m., launched from Washington and Water streets.