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November 23, 2012 09:59 PM

Crowds Pack Phillips Ave. For Lighted Parade

Sioux Falls, SD

It’s not Christmas yet, but it felt like it in Sioux Falls Friday. Thousands of bright bulbs filled downtown's chilly streets during the annual parade of lights, while even more people packed the sidewalks.

“It’s a little cold, but the flame throwers are making it a little better,” Ryan O’Toole said, as he stood on the street corner watching the lights float down Phillips Avenue.

“I really like the music and the hot air balloon stuff,” Abby Falconer said, as she watched with her family.

Falconer comes every year. So does Rachel Vassar. But this is the first year she brought her young boys.

“They didn't really know what a parade was, so after they seen it, then yeah,” Vassar said.

But whether you're new or not, one thing is for sure. For one hour on the day after Thanksgiving, it felt like Christmas.

“It's pretty awesome. It looks like Sioux Falls has good holiday spirit!” O’Toole said.

The annual event kicks of downtown Sioux Falls’ Holiday shopping season. Many merchants were also preparing for Small Business Saturday, designed to draw crowds to local merchants as consumers continue checking off their Christmas lists.

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