Hundreds of people turned out Sunday evening as the Neligh Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Christmas Kickoff event.
The light parade started the night's activities. The largest lighted parade in recent memory, the entries were primarily local businesses and organization who donned lights on their vehicles, UTVs and even their train. families lined Main Street to watch the parade. Some stayed in their vehicles and others watched from the warmth of their cars.
After the parade, there were some Christmas carols before the annual lighting of the Antelope county Courthouse lawns, which officially signifies Christmas season in Neligh. The lights will remain through December.
For those wanting a warm place to socialize, the American Legion was the place to be. Carhart Lumber again sponsored a free hot dog feed for the community.
Kelly Kerkman, manager of Carhart Lumber said it's great to be a part of the community.
"You can tell by the number of people, they really appreciate it and we're happy to do it for them," said Kerkman.
He said the weather outside complimented the kickoff event.
"It was a perfect night, weather wise. We got a little snow falling," he said, "It kind of gives you the Christmas feeling."
The biggest draw of the night was Santa Claus, who took time to speak with each child and ask what he or she wanted for Christmas. Santa graciously gave each child a candy cane and a photo to remember the special event.
The Neligh-Oakdale FBLA also kept the children busy with lots of activities and games through the night. From ring toss to bingo, there were lots of ways to stay busy.
Speaking of bingo, the Neligh Chamber of Commerce also gave away bingo cards for their Business Bingo holiday promotion. With a grand prize of $1,000, Chamber officials said there are lots of benefits to shopping local this holiday season.
"I just think the Chamber did a phenomenal job doing this," Kerkman said, "They deserve a big thank you."