PSO Christmas Parade of Lights a Fun Time
GTR Newspapers photo
The 17th Annual PSO Christmas Parade of Lights was held Saturday, Dec. 9 in downtown Tulsa. The PSO Parade of Lights is one of the most highly attended parades in Oklahoma and prides itself on being one of the most unique with equestrian units, floats, dance squads, bands and giant helium balloons lighting up downtown Tulsa’s streets during this magical evening parade.
The annual PSO Parade of Lights attracts approximately 10,000 on-street spectators each year in addition to over 100,000 viewers watching the parade on KTUL News Channel 8.
Parade organizers were honored to have Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry as the Grand Marshal. Jennifer Berry, a Jenks graduate who participated in the parade last year as Miss Oklahoma, is currently on a national speaking tour promoting the Miss America Organization and her platform of Building Intolerance to Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking. As a spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and an aspiring teacher, she has spent her year of service working towards increasing awareness and community action towards her platform. Jennifer Berry is an excellent representative of the community and is working relentlessly to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking.
Best-selling Tulsa author and voice of the Sheriff in the Disney/Pixar motion picture Cars, Michael Wallis also made an appearance in the parade. rode in a ‘49 Mercury Cruiser, just like the one he portrayed in Cars. As always, giant helium balloons are a highlight of the parade. This year is was exception with Louie the Lightning Bug, Jack in the Box, Andy Panda, Toy Soldier and a giant Christmas Stocking! And of course, the parade would not be complete without an appearance by Santa Claus.
Many people got into the spirit the evening before the parade as the floats were on display in the Convention center. All floats were invited to participate in the judging. Trophies were awarded on Saturday immediately before the parade began. Categories included Best of Show, Best Use of Lights, Most Creative, and the United Airlines Spirit Award. Judging began at 6 p.m. and was free and open to the public for a sneak peak of what to expect at the parade.
Many people staked out their places on the sidewalks early. The Shriners pre-parade began at 5:15 p.m. The weather was delightful!
Downtown Tulsa Unlimited would like to thank the following sponsors: Public Service Company of Oklahoma (presenting sponsor), KTUL News Channel 8 (television sponsor), Tulsa Jaycees, and our helium balloon sponsors Borg Compressed Steel, Burggraf Restoration, Conner & Winters, LLP, and IBC Bank.