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Catch The Glow Gearing Up

Bob Akin and Michael Young holding the snowflake you can name.

Bob Akin and Michael Young holding the snowflake you can name.

By: Kris Hazelton

There are two new faces in Barn W at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds, who are very busy designing and creating some wonderful new floats for the 25th annual Catch the Glow Christmas Parade which takes place in downtown Estes Park the day after Thanksgiving.

The creative minds of Bob Aiken and Michael Young are hard at work on twenty, completely new floats for the parade.

Working on the floats isn’t entirely new to Bob who said, “I used to help out Leslie Botha, past creator of the parade, for several years. When I heard Leslie might not be doing the parade this year, I walked into Bo Winslow’s office at the fairgrounds and said, ‘Bo, I think we should talk.”

He continued, “Being a professional puppeteer, I love coming up with creative ideas but I also thought of another person here in town who is very creative and would be the perfect person to help me in this new venture, and that person is Michael Young.

With this year’s parade, Bob and Michael are looking forward to making a new statement. They are making the floats very Estes Park oriented, since that is why people come to our town for this parade. Michael said they stripped every single float and are starting from scratch.

Just some of the new floats this year will include a Wind Power Float that celebrates the ‘going green’ movement, a Rocking Horse Float featuring Cowboy Chester, The Night Before Christmas, the always popular Holiday Train, the REO Truck, The Nutcracker Float, Goldilocks and the Three Shopping Bears, The Dickens Carolers, Brad and Kathy Fitch and their Western Float, a Patriotic Flag Float honoring our Veterans, a Winter Wonderland Float with Mr. and Mrs. Frosty, the Sledding Hill Float, and of course Santa himself!

Bob and Michael have recycled just about everything from floats of years past. Michael said, “Someone with a keen eye might be able to spot some items from past parades on our new creations.” Michael also said, “We want each float to have a purpose and a meaning and as each float passes by, they will tell a story to the crowd.” Bob had expressed his desire that the floats in the parade give off more of a glow and Michael has taken that idea to heart and at the parade you’ll find a lot more glow from within from the windows, fireplaces, streetlights, etc. Bob said, “I love the theme of Catch the Glow, we all have some sort of glow within ourselves and this parade will brighten that glow in all who attend the parade.”

This year, the Town is holding a special contest in conjunction with the parade. Michael and Bob found a large snowflake on one of the floats and according to past Town employees, that snowflake has been in every parade for the past 25 years. Michael and Bob thought the snowflake needs to be recognized and honored and even needs a name. So, they are holding a contest to Name the Flake. Send your entries in to the Town of Estes Park, attn. Special Events Department at P.O. Box 1200, Estes Park, CO 80517 or email your entry to

Entries must be received by Monday, November 17th. Winner will be chosen and have their photo in the November 21st Estes Park News AND, the best part, will get to ride in the REO 1949 red pickup that will carry the newly named snowflake and you, the winner during the 2008 parade!

For more information on how you can sponsor a float or a character for the festivities or to help Michael and Bob work on the floats, call 586-6104.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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