Provided by: Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition
The forecast said rain but to everyone’s joy the clouds bypassed Buckeye’s “Glow on Monroe” Electric Light Parade on Dec. 13.
The annual parade featured 52 floats, among them semis towing flat beds, trucks, and vintage roadsters decked out in holiday lights along with decorated horses and school bands. Local businesses, clubs, churches and individuals made an overwhelming effort in the success of this year’s parade.
The amazing floats came in all shapes and sizes. Calvert Shell Station was a gigantic cowboy boot with each light hand drilled into the structure’s hard shell. Ray Bailey of Calvert Shell Station said, “We didn’t know what we were going to build until the last minute!”
For some, like Cezar at Pizza Hut said it the first time his business entered the parade. Two weeks ago, when I spoke with him about joining the parade he excitedly said, “Hey, I can put the Pizza Hut lit signs on top of my car, I already have those!” Cezar pulled it together and had a lighted tree in the back of the truck and Pizza Hut red lights all over the vehicle.
It’s the participants’ we can-do-it-ourselves attitude that makes this Buckeye parade special.
In the last Buckeye Council meeting, Councilman McAchran said, “Glow on Monroe is the most cost effective and best example of economic development for Buckeye!”
He’s right because I had the opportunity to ride in one of the floats and had first-hand perspective of how most businesses were doing along Monroe Avenue. Those that were open had lots of customers and there was a sea of thousands of parade spectators watching and cheering on the floats from their sidewalk perches.
The parade, a long-time tradition in Buckeye that heralds the arrival of the holiday season, seems to come together magically every December and most locals know it always happens on the same day.
Zarco, who works at EZ Barber, “Yeah, I know about the parade and it’s always the day after Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.”
The winning float of a miniature replica of Historic Main Street by the Buckeye Union Elementary School Transportation Department really captivated the crowds.
Maria Gomez, the creative genius behind the hand-crafted Main Street big enough for an action figure to live in, explained how they did it.
“It took 2 weeks for us to complete this,” she said. “Many days we stayed up until 3 a.m. just to finish it on time!”
The cardboard buildings had bright windows (and some had drapes) that shone onto the fluffy cotton all over the streets for the snow. The detail was amazing. Town Hall was at the end of the street, Buckeye Feed and Country Store and True Value were at the other end of the flat-bed trailer and on both sides of the street were recognizable Main Street buildings. The school bus, full of adorable kids, was a twinkling gem festooned with tiny lights and hand-made ornaments dangling from the windows.
Glow on Monroe Electric Light Parade Awards:
- Best School- BES Transportation (#32)
- Best High School- Buckeye Union High School Transportation (#6)
- Best Elementary School- BESD Band (#23)
- Best Western- Rainbow Ladies (#12)
- Best Religious- Buckeye First Assembly (#34)
- Best Family- House Family (#13)
- Best Lodge- El-Zaribah Shrine Trans Unit (#19)
- Best Civic- Living Water Ranch (#39)
- Best Commercial- River Ridge (#50)
- Best Club- Buckeye Golden Hawks (#4)
- Judges Choice- Calvert (#7)
- Mayors Choice- Duncan’s Delivery Express (#20)