Fayette County

Holidays get off to festive start downtown

Three clowns who tossed Skittles and high-fived children along Main Street during Friday's holiday parade continued their antics even as the crowd dispersed.

"It's the highlight of the year," said Laura Goble of Lexington, who clowned around with her daughter, Katherine Goble, 11, and her daughter's friend, Abby Davidson, 10, at the Lexington Winter Festival and Holiday Market in Triangle Park.

Karen Pantatello of Lexington said she wanted to hear more holiday music during the parade, but she enjoyed visiting the vendors. This year's event featured vendors who sold paintings, jewelry and pottery. Food vendors tried to stay warm while selling hot cider, barbecue and burgers.

A trio of folk singers performed Christmas songs as people found seats for the parade and wrapped themselves in blankets.

Sara Stamper and Anna McFarland, employees of the Lexington Parks and Recreation department, volunteered for less glamorous jobs, guiding two costumed stars who attracted children and adults at every corner of the park: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.

"I walk around with them," Stamper said, smiling. "The little kids love them."

No one asked to hug McFarland or take a picture with her. She was there to keep Frosty from falling down a set of stairs.

Josie Lady of Lexington said she was pleased the festival had returned to Triangle Park after being held at the courthouse plaza last year. She attended the festival growing up in Lexington and joined her young children on Friday.

"There's more tradition here," Lady said.