A few weeks ago, we spent our Saturday evening at the Festival of Lights Parade in downtown Colorado Springs. This was awesome for multiple reasons. One, I LOVE Christmas stuff and a Christmas parade is about as over-the-top as you can get! Two, I’m in love with downtown Colorado Springs and downtowns in general, especially at Christmastime. There’s a special Christmas spirit in cities during the holidays and it’s wonderful.

We walked around downtown for a while before the parade started and as we walked, light snow began to fall. Seriously, could it have gotten any more Christmassy? It made my heart so happy.

This was the beautiful Christmas tree in the Anters Hotel.

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 John and I right as the snow started to fall.

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I made John be my #InstagramHusband for a few minutes before we continued walking. :P

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The cool lights on the Antlers Hotel.

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Looking down Tejon Street downtown.

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We came across this cool hot air balloon in the middle of the street.

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This little coffee stand in Acacia Park was so cute. It was next to the outdoor ice skating rink (which we skated at last year-another fun thing to do in Colorado Springs at Christmastime).

20151205_163529As many of you probably know, there was a horrible shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic a few weeks ago here in Colorado Springs. At the beginning of the parade, they had a banner with the names of the three victims who were killed in the shooting. It was very touching and fitting for a community that was still shocked from the sadness of what took place.

Colorado Springs has such a great community. Back in the summer of my junior year of college, I lived here in Colorado Springs to do an internship. During that summer, the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out. In the aftermath of such a devastating fire, I was touched to see the amount of people who donated supplies to people who lost their homes. We would drive around town and see cars with “Thank You Firefighters” written on the windows. It really made an impact on me. In the parade this year, I saw many floats with signs thanking firefighters and police officers. It’s just great to see how appreciative people are.

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There were two HUSKY themed groups walking in the parade. One of them was the National Mill Dog Rescue and the other was a group called the “Husky and Malamute Mingle” or something like that. They actually had real, live HUSKIES walking around in the parade. Like, there were 20 huskies all in the same place. I almost exploded from happiness. John started filming my reaction because he knew that I was going to freak out.

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The Chik-Fil-A float cracked me up. It was a bunch of people dressed up in cow costumes dancing around to songs like The Chicken Dance. It was ridiculous and awesome.

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And of course, what self-respecting Christmas parade would be complete without Santa at the end?

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Once the sun went down and the parade started, it got really cold, mainly because we were standing in the same place for over an hour! But we had so much fun and it was totally worth it! I think going to the parade is going to become a yearly tradition for us now.

One of the main reasons why I enjoyed the parade so much is because it was a huge, joyous celebration of Christmas. Things are heavy in our country and in the world right now. That’s why I think it’s wonderful and healthy to take a moment to go to something like this-where the mood is festive and positive. I’m so thankful that events like the parade exist because it’s important to celebrate life as much as we possibly can.

Today, I’m linking up with the Ember Grey Blog for Grateful Heart Monday. Check out the other posts in the linkup here!

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