By no means was Tuesday a silent night. But it wholly glimmered as the twelfth annual Parade of Lights dazzled thousands.
It featured more than 70 entries for the parade, including five area high school bands, making this one of the largest parades in recent history, according to representatives of the Ardmore Main Street Authority.
The parade began at Central Park immediately after the City of Ardmore Tree Lighting, inspiring smiles across the faces of Ardmore residents who waited along the sidewalks for the spectacle.
The most wonderful weather set the scene for kicking off the most wonderful time of year, said Ardmore City Manager J.D. Spohn.
“I think we have a record crowd, and you can’t beat this weather,” Spohn said. “We’re very pleased with the turnout, the parade and I think this is the largest one we’ve had. This is always a special event. It kicks off the Christmas season, and I think people look forward to this.”
Six food trucks and several vendors dotted Central Park for spectators to enjoy. Among them down by the East Side of Main Street was Phil Ford and company affiliated with Faith Southern Baptist Church off State Highway 199.
‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and charity. Ford and friends served free coffee, cocoa and food to passersby. He said though the turnout began small as people first gathered around Central Park for the tree lighting, his group was later swamped by spectators along the sidewalk.
Ford was also glad the seasonably warm weather allowed he and his fellow churchgoers  to chat about faith and to make new friends.
“We just want to do something good for people,” Ford said. “Last year, it was blistering cold. But the weather’s much better than last year.”
That exact scene was set for Karese Burkhalt, who was joined by about 10 friends and family members with an excellent vantage point thanks to setting up chairs in the bed of a pickup truck.
“I think we did more conversing than looking at the parade,” Burkhalt said, laughing.
She and her friends thought the parade has developed nicely over the years, providing an opportune time to join thousands of fellow residents in enjoyment of one another’s company.
As choruses of “Merry Christmas!” and carols performed by marching bands carried over the blaring of car horns in celebration, Burkhalt couldn’t help but smile and enjoy the opportunity to spend time with ones she loves.
“It’s way better than it used to be. It did a fantastic job,” Burkhalt said. “We’re excited for the ones to come.”