Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade

Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 23, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

JACKSONPORT (WLUK) -- What started out as a way to break up a day of eating and drinking, has evolved into a Door County tradition.

The 21st annual Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade and Benefit draws hundreds of spectators each year.

"OK, happy 21st year everbody, let's do it," said one parade official.

With a somewhat official send-off, the parade was underway.

"I can't tell you who's going to be in the parade. I can't tell you because it's just quite an ecclectic group of people that just happen to show up and that's exactly how we want it to run," said Jill Lautenbach, Jacksonport.

There was a motorized sleigh ride, and tiny horses that looked a little like reindeer. Seasonal favorites from the Sevastopol-Gibraltar marching band put the crowd in the holiday spirit.

But there was also something a little different. Powered by a 1979 Dodge Ram pick-up truck, The Jacksonport Redneck Klub entry was inspired by the Upper Peninsula and more.

"A lot of the ideas came from that, and the other 50 percent of the ideas, we pretty much live everyday," said Todd Burke, "Billy Bob Jones."

The event is also a fundraiser.

Every year, the parade committee selects an area person or a cause which could use some help. This time, the donations will be shared between two local people dealing serious health issues, and a charity called Feed and Clothe My People.

"We also buy things for families at Christmas time. We make sure a few of our families have a really nice Christmas, with gifts and everything they need," said Lindsay de Young, Parade Organizer.

The parade wound its way through downtown Jacksonport, and back again.

"Happy Holidays," said Santa Claus.

Organizers say there were about 20 entries in all making it the biggest parade yet. Watch out Macy's.

"Oh my God, it was the most amazing parade I've ever seen. I've never been here before, and boy, I'll be coming back forever," said Lynn Skoczelas, San Diego, California.

Parade organizers say one hundred percent of the donations collected will go to the causes selected.

Totals are still coming in, but in the past, a typical parade can raise thousands of dollars.

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