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Lights parade introduces holiday season in Adams

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ADAMS — Those who watched the “Magic Lights” parade downtown Sunday were either holding umbrellas or standing underneath the eaves of shops. But hard rain that persisted through the evening failed to douse the spirit of Christmas here, as 18 groups paraded down Church Street with festive lights.

“Tis the season to be jolly,” said Nina O. Hershey, organizer from the Adams Chamber of Commerce who held a bucket to sell raffle tickets. “God doesn’t take a vacation, and we’ve never canceled a parade here.”

Along with watching their sons and daughters march in the rain, spectators also pitched in for a community cause by purchasing baked goods and hot chocolate from the Adams Revitalization Committee. The committee is seeking to raise $10,000 this year to purchase energy-efficient lighting for the village’s Christmas tree and downtown streets, along with a banner.

“The lights are expected to last 15 years, and this will brighten up downtown Adams,” said committee member Peter S. Ouderkirk, adding that $3,000 has been raised so far by donations from local businesses.

Dressed in rain coats and armed with umbrellas, a group standing outside Shear Delite salon at 4 East Church Street arrived early and prepared. Robert E. and Janeen M. Lee came to watch daughter Alexis P. Gravelle, a freshman at South Jefferson Central School, ride on a float she helped decorate for the FFA chapter.

“We’re dedicated parents, and we came prepared,” Mrs. Lee said.

Standing alongside the couple were Kathy L. Russell and son Dakota J., a sophomore at South Jefferson. Dakota was there to cheer on his older brother, Cameron A., a senior at South Jefferson who’s an officer in FFA this year.

“He’s supposed to be riding on the float’s horse, because he’s the only senior in the club this year,” said Dakota, who added that his brother inspired him to join next year.

Other parents, like Laura S. Scanlon, showed up to support the Adams Explorers, a group of high school students who volunteer for the Adams Fire Department. The group rides along with firefighters to accident scenes to complete training. Mrs. Scanlon identified her son among the group dressed in firefighter attire as they handed out candy to the crowd.

“He’s always wanted to be a firefighter and this is getting him ready to eventually be a volunteer here,” she said.

Adams Boy Scout Troop 37 capped off the parade as about 15 youngsters came down the street, joined by scout leaders who carried torches. In keeping with this year’s “Magic Lights” theme, scouts waved glow sticks and wore funky glasses that blinked with colored lights. After finishing the parade, the group stopped for a few minutes to pick up trash scattered near the sidewalk.

“There was a great turnout today, especially with the rain,” said assistant scout master Karen C. Shelmidine.

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