Martin Chamber Parade of Lights

By Tim Huether

The 11th Annual Martin Area Chamber Parade of Lights and Craft Fair was once again dazzling Saturday, Dec. 1. 

The Craft Fair was the largest ever with 42 booths, and the crowds were the largest since it’s beginning. The parade had 17 entries, with a spectacular variety of lighted floats for a very large gathering of viewers from Main Street to the Hospital and Nursing Home as the warm temperatures made for a great night of entertainment. 

Kratovil’s True Value took home the top award, the People’s Choice trophy, with their impressive winter scene with deer, Santa and a windmill. They also won the top place in the business category. The Martin Volunteer Fire Department was another repeat winner, taking the group and organization trophy. The Eagles 4-H club took first place in the youth group category with their excellent float. 

In the business category, the Bennett County Booster was second and Lacreek Electric third. In the Organization/Church category, the American Legion Post 240 was second and the Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home was third. 

In the Youth Group/Family/Individual category, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Youth Group was second and LaCreek College Center was third.

Other parade participants included: Martin Area Chamber of Commerce, the General Store/Ace Hardware, Crossroads Inn, KILI Radio, RT Wild Ride Ropes, Friends of Carla Allard

The Chamber awarded three non-commercial entries Chamber bucks, with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church winning $75, Eagles 4-H $50 and the Martin Volunteer Fire Dept. $25. These were based on the People’s Choice votes from the public.

According to Martin Area Chamber Craft Fair chairperson Judy Kratovil, this was the biggest and best one ever.

“Talking to vendors, everyone seemed to have a great day, and people commented they were impressed with the overall selection,” said Kratovil. “We’ve built it up and it has become so popular, we ran out of available booth space and had to turn down several vendors. We hope to be able to be more creative in our layout so we can get more in and keep the same excellent atmosphere.”

Parade Chairman Frank Mueller also reported great comments on the parade from people on the street and those who had a float.

“Of course the great weather helps, but people were very pleased with the parade and we had a great turnout in both the crowd and quality of parade entries,” said Mueller.

See the video of the parade and craft fair under the video heading on our website,

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