It was a festive week for Pierre with the Parade of Lights and Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol taking place on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

The 21st Parade of Lights kicked off the holiday season as floats made their way through Pierre starting at T.F. Riggs High School and ending at the American Legion’s cabin on Pierre Street.

The Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce’s Events Committee and Pierre Mayor Steve Harding judged the floats on creativity, imagination and overall image and sound.

Avera Health won first place and took home $100, sponsored by Lynn’s Dakotamart. Fort Pierre’s Fun Time Rentals took second place and $75, sponsored by the ClubHouse Hotel & Suites. Central South Dakota Skating Club won $50, sponsored by First National Bank.

Fischer, Rounds & Associates won the Griswold Award and $50, sponsored by Walmart. And Ferding Electric won the Mayor’s Choice award along with $50.

On Tuesday, the festivities continued with Christmas at the Capitol’s rotunda, with the Riggs Chamber Choir performing before and during the ceremony.

This year’s theme is Winter Wishes. Amelia Rounds, who is fighting leukemia, pushed the button this year, lighting the grand tree and about 80 more other trees on display in the Capitol.

Pierre’s Austyn and Jessica Gackle donated the 25-foot Colorado Blue Spruce for this year’s grand tree, which the South Dakota Christmas at the Capitol Committee decorated.

The other trees were decorated by volunteers from communities, schools, churches, nonprofit organizations and state government offices. The display is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 26.

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