It may have rained on Niantic's Light Parade but the wet weather didn't put a damper on anyone's spirits. This year's parade included 45 festive floats, vintage cars, fire trucks, decked out vehicles, dance troupes, and a marching band. That was more than last year—although still about 20 short of the all time high of 65—and a large crowd turned out to watch the fun.
The day began with a winter festival featuring an ice sculpting demonstration, and a chowder and chili cookoff between local restaurants. The winner, Main Street Grill, had three soups on offer. The judging was done by people who bought tickets to sample all the entries.
The parade itself began with a fireworks display, which is a fairly new addition to the event. The fireworks kicked it off last year for the first time. The parade was led by East Lyme High School's marching band and ended with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving in a vintage fire truck. The overall winner of the parade was the Wizard of Oz, created by John Wilson's team at Sign Craft in Niantic.
"We were very pleased with how it went," said Mike McDowell, special events coordinator for East Lyme Parks and Recreation. "It went very smoothly."