Five highlights from the Parade of Lights

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The XTO Energy Parade of Lights lit up the streets of downtown Fort Worth Sunday night.
The parade included 125 entries and took about two hours to finish. It’s expanded significantly since the first XTO Energy Parade of Lights, in 1983, which featured only 25 units.
While thousands of people came out to watch the floats, bands and groups, hundreds left before the show ended.
Here are five highlights from Sunday’s parade for anyone who couldn’t stick around for the entire thing.

5. The horses wearing little hats:

Horses wearing little Santa hats pull a carriage during the parade. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.
Horses wearing little Santa hats pull a carriage during the parade. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.

Few things are more adorable than horses pulling carriages covered in Christmas lights. However, horses wearing little hats while pulling carriages covered in Christmas lights give it some competition.

4. The small herd of Shetland ponies:

Some shetland ponies pull mini carriages during the parade. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.
Some shetland ponies pull mini carriages during the parade. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.

Take each cute element listed above and imagine it smaller.
That’s exactly what happened with this entry.

3. Giant balloon characters:

The Canary and Bluebird balloons being escorted down the street. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.
The Canary and Bluebird balloons being escorted down the street. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.

The Angry Birds franchise may have left most of its relevance back in 2013, but that doesn’t stop the birds from making appearances in nearly every major parade in America and the Parade of Lights was no exception. The Angry Birds Cardinal, Canary and Bluebird floated along in the parade behind Sesame Street’s Big Bird.

2. The Grinch riding a unicycle while playing the clarinet:

"The Grinch" rides a unicycle in the Parade of Lights while playing a clarinet. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.
“The Grinch” rides a unicycle in the Parade of Lights while playing clarinet. Photo by Andrew Van Heusden.

The DFW Unicycle Club had over a dozen members riding unicycles with Christmas lights in the parade, but this one stood out.

1. Ronald the Ramblin’ Rattler and his “tongue”:


It’s hard to miss a bicyclist powered light-up snake.
It’s was even harder to miss that snake when it opened its mouth to show a woman wearing pink leggings whose only mission was to do leg lifts so she looked like a tongue.
For a complete list of the parades entries, visit the parade’s website.