More than 3,000 people are conspiring to help you kick off the holidays with flair.

They’ll be marching, driving, performing, rolling and strolling down Tejon Street on Saturday during the 34th annual Festival of Lights Parade.

“It’s the way to start the holiday season off right,” said Executive Director Terry P. Collinson. “It’s a beautiful sight. All these bands come out, and they’re exciting and all the floats are exciting. There’s so much energy.”

This year’s theme is “Songs of the Season,” though entrants aren’t required to adhere to it, and the parade’s grand marshals are the widow and 7-year-old twins of El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick, who was slain during an auto theft investigation in February.

If the weather’s parade-friendly, about 60,000 people will pack downtown and watch more than 80 floats, bands and other entries go by, all before the main man himself finishes the festivities — Santa Claus. It’s the largest single-day event in the Pikes Peak region.

It’ll take an hour, if everything goes according to plan, Collinson said, mostly because the parade will be broadcast live in an hourlong slot on KKTV and for the sake of younger attendees.

“We feel like an hour is long enough for kids to stand outside and wait for Santa.”

JENNIFER MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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