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Dec 22, 2013 12:25 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Thousands attend Tucson's Parade of Lights

TUCSON - The 19th annual Parade of Lights brought thousands of people to Downtown Tucson.

The participants included all types of entries, including a Star Wars theme from the 501st Legion of Storm Troopers. It is a nonprofit that raises money for charities.

"We put the smiles on children's faces," Chris Jackson said. "Whether it be in the hospitals, on the parade route, wherever we go, we're bringing smiles."

Marvin Skinner and his family pulled a nativity scene on a cart.

"It's all about family," Skinner said. "This is what it's really for. I love it. Every year I have come here, all you see is families, children, they have such a great time."

Many nonprofits created displays to spread their message, including a group from Good Threads.

"It's awesome to have the opportunity to come out to the community that we support and just spread the awareness," Michele Wright said. "And make sure people know that we are the only collecting bank for foster kids."

Janine Aguilar had several kids create a nativity scene on wheels.

"The true meaning of Christmas is Jesus," Aguilar said. "And it's his birthday."

The evening was full of entertainment, even before the parade, including an official tree-lighting by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

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