The annual Lighted Christmas Parade returns at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 to downtown Monticello.

MONTICELLO — It’s going to be bright this weekend in Monticello.

The annual Lighted Christmas Parade returns Dec. 4 to downtown Monticello. It’s set for 6 p.m. and is expected to be — literally — brighter than ever.

The Monticello Rotary Club and Streets of Monticello Association (S.O.M.A.) have partnered to bring back the annual holiday spectacle, which has been canceled two of the last three years due to severe weather (2018) and the COVID-19 pandemic (2020).

RCM and S.O.M.A. assumed sponsorship of the parade last year after its previous sponsor, the Greater Monticello Chamber of Commerce, closed its doors.

After last year’s parade was canceled, the city sponsored a Deck the City of Monticello light contest during which residential and business entities competed for prizes and area media, among others, served as judges.

Deck the City of Monticello is also back by popular demand. Registration to participate in it ends at 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Applications are available at City Hall and on the city’s website, www.monticelloin.gov.

Judging for Deck the City of Monticello will take place between Dec. 6-11 from outside participating properties, with winners announced Dec. 13.

As for the parade, it will follow its standard route, beginning at Ohio and Third streets, proceeding east on Ohio to Main and continue north, ending at Foster Street.

Judging will take place during the parade. Prizes will be given to the top six entries: first, second and third places, as well as Spectacular Sparkles, Most Creative, Judges Pick and Mayor’s Choice Award.

Monticello Mayor Cathy Gross also said people who plan to attend the Lighted Christmas Parade on Dec. 4 can, immediately following the parade, attend the city’s inaugural Art Show, which will take place inside the west bays of the old fire station (now the home of City Hall). It will feature the art of local artist Bill Smock.

Gross also said that, along with the refurbishing of the city’s lights and purchase of new ones, the Washington Street Bridge will also be lighted this Christmas season.

As for the lights, they will be expanded to include much of the main downtown thoroughfares.The Streets of Monticello Association (S.O.M.A.) raised nearly $20,000 during the summer for the refurbishing of the city’s Christmas lights, as well as the purchase of new ones. The Community Foundation of White County also chipped in $3,500 for the lights.

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