STRAFFORD, Mo. — After holding a parade for the first time last year, people were excited to enjoy the festivities.

Strafford’s mayor, Ashley French, says there was a larger crowd for the town’s Christmas Parade this year. She says they are holding the parade at night because it feels more festive and gives people the chance to decorate their tractor with Christmas lights.

“We just didn’t have a lot of traditions it had been a while and I think with COVID-19, it kind of ceased some things,” said French. “We wanted to kind of regroup and we thought why not make it nighttime, we had a Christmas tree we had planted in front of city hall as well, we got some new lights, and we’re just trying to make things warmer and inviting for Strafford just a good home town feel.”

“I love the night parade and I love the lights,” said Kandace Atkinson, a Strafford resident. “There is a lot of good floats and it’s just a really good atmosphere.”

This year’s parade wraps the celebration of Strafford’s 150th anniversary. Strafford is also holding a contest for people who want to decorate their homes this year. The top three winners will get cash as the prize.