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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2007 Media Releases

November 15, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Deb Johnson, Parade Executive Director, 434-6901


Mayor Chris Beutler today announced plans for the 23rd annual Star City Holiday Parade December 1 in downtown Lincoln. The theme for this yearís event is "Tis the Season." The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will again be televised live statewide by KOLN-KGIN-TV. It is presented by Verizon Wireless and produced by Updowntowners, Inc. and the City of Lincoln.

"Iím a huge fan of the parade and believe this will be one of the most exciting parades in years," said Mayor Beutler. "The production team and an army of volunteers have created two new floats sponsored by Verizon Wireless and the Community Blood Bank. I hope we have the largest crowd in parade history downtown to enjoy the results of all that hard work." Mayor Beutler and his wife, Judy, will travel the parade route in a horse-drawn carriage.

Deb Johnson, Executive Director of Updowntowners, Inc., said the parade attracts about 85,000 people to downtown Lincoln, making it the largest parade of its kind in the five-state area. Verizon Wireless is sponsoring the new float for Major Drummond, the parade mascot.

"Being new to Lincoln we feel itís important to get involved in the community," said Karen Opp, Human Resource Manager for Verizon Wireless. "The parade is a great event and one that our employees have the opportunity to participate in. Verizon Wireless is proud to be part of the excitement."

The Community Blood Bank (CBB) is sponsoring a new float for Santa and Mrs. Claus. Johnson said the parade has always used old vehicles to move the floats down the route, but this new float will be powered by a custom-made chassis.

"Santa is a long-time blood donor, so heís looking forward to helping us promote the great work the Community Blood Bank has been doing in Lincoln for 40 years," said Joyce Halvorsen, Public Relations Director for the CBB. "Santa will even make a special trip to Lincoln to donate blood the week of the parade, making him a 10-gallon donor."

Johnson said other parade highlights include:

  • Sixteen marching bands, including the 43rd Army Band and bands from all the Lincoln Public High Schools, Pius X and Parkview Christian;
  • Six giant helium balloons; and
  • New community floats created by the Indian Center and the Southwest High School Department.

Other annual favorites include animal units, clowns, costumed characters, the Star City Sweets, the Lincoln Federal Savings giant piggy bank and Rudolph with Bugle the Elf. Children are encouraged to bring their letters to Santa with a return address. U.S. Postal Service employees will pick up the letters during the parade, and Santa will write back to them before the holidays.

Pre-parade entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. along the parade route. Following the parade, the awards ceremony will begin at about 12:45 p.m. in the Lancaster Ballroom at the Cornhusker Marriott. A panel of band professionals will judge the bands in competition. All other judging will be done by a panel of children ages 8 through 14.

More information on the Star City Parade is available on the City Web site at and at

Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful is promoting the parade as litter-free event, and volunteers will be along the parade route to help collect trash and educate the public on the proper disposal of trash.

The parade will be re-aired Dec. 2 on My TV, Time Warner Cable channel 110. It also will be re-aired throughout the month of December on 5 CITY-TV, the local government access cable channel. (See for 5 CITY-TV schedule.)

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