BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Rain didn’t stop hundreds of Maumee residents from showing up for the annual Holiday Light Parade and Holiday Hustle 5K on Sunday evening.
Despite the wet weather, runners and walkers turned out for the Elf Run 1K and Holiday Hustle 5K. Winners were awarded in several categories, including overall master, grand masters and in each age group. Best illuminated, cutest, race director’s choice and most creative holiday costumes were also awarded.
“The race went really well except for the weather. We’re really grateful and appreciative of everyone who went out and still supported the race and our fundraiser,” said Maumee Senior Center executive director Malinda Ruble. “Everybody was still dressed up in costume and had a great attitude about it.”
Ruble thanked the sponsors, volunteers and participants for helping the event run as smoothly as possible.
The Maumee Police Division had the majority of its officers working the event to maintain the safety of all participants and keep the event on track.
Police Chief Josh Sprow said that despite the rain during the run and the staging of the parade, the event was successful, and he credited the department and city workers.
“The parade could not happen without the preparation and teardown by the Maumee Service Department. They always do a great job,” Sprow said.
Maumee Uptown Business Association president Jason Mendelsohn said he was happy to see so many people uptown enjoying the hard work of the city, businesses and volunteers, including the newly redone sidewalks and lit-up trees on Conant Street.
The parade, which was led by grand marshals Jim and Lin MacDonald, drew crowds on Conant and West Wayne streets to see more than 20 participating groups light up the uptown area.
“We want to thank everyone who participated, and we understand that the weather wasn’t ideal, especially during setup, but we were happy so many people came out for us and the crowd size was good,” Mendelsohn said.
Mendelsohn and Ruble are already looking toward next year’s events and hoping for even better weather, with the same support they always receive from Maumee residents.
“This is just a celebration of the holiday season and to show off Maumee,” Mendelsohn said.