Parade of Lights Committee presents prize money to winning entry

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 January 2021 at 10:03 am

Medina Railroad Museum is repeat champion

Photos by Ginny Kropf: The Parade of Lights Committee chairs on Monday presented the Medina Railroad Museum with their plaque and a check for $500 for being the Grand Prize winner of this year’s Reverse Parade of Lights on Nov. 29. From left are volunteer Jerry Kwiatkowski, Grace Stewart, volunteer coordinator; Caitlyn Klotzbach, director of group sales for the museum; Rick Henn, president of the MRRM board; and Jim Hancock and Dave Miller with the Parade of Lights Committee. Absent is museum director Janien Klotzbach.

MEDINA – The Medina Railroad Museum was named Grand Prize winner of Medina’s annual Parade of Lights for the second year in a row.

Representatives of the museum were presented with a plaque, which comes with a $500 prize, by Parade of Lights chairs Jim Hancock and Dave Miller. The award was presented on Monday to museum personnel, volunteer Jerry Kwiatkowski, volunteer coordinator Grace Stewart, museum board president Rick Henn and group sales coordinator Caitlyn Klotzbach, all of whom spent many hours decorating their float.

The museum’s entry, which is a replica of a train depot, was originally built as a promotional tool to promote the museum at train shows and other public events. But staff soon realized, with the addition of some lights (quite a few lights) it was a perfect entry in the parade.

Stewart said they spent a lot of days decorating the float, but they had a lot of fun.

“We were working on it right up until the last minute,” Klotzbach said

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Medina Railroad Museum won the top award in the “reverse” Parade of the Lights on Nov. 29.

Klotzbach said they added more lights to the float this year. She counted them and said there were 7,500. They might add even more next year, she said. Their goal is to win the grand prize three years in a row.

Hancock said the judges’ decision was almost unanimous.

“This was a very unusual year, and we didn’t know what to expect,” Hancock said, referring to their decision to have a reverse parade, due to the pandemic.

“We didn’t expect 1,200 cars,” said Dave Miller, who helped organize the parade with Hancock and the rest of the parade committee. “A lot of people were not happy with the long lines.”

“They would have complained a lot more if you hadn’t done a parade at all,” said Grace Stewart, volunteer coordinator at the museum.

“I think it was an overwhelming success, considering all things,” Hancock said. “We had fewer floats, mostly due to the fact schools and some businesses were closed. We had 18 floats, and we are grateful for that.”

Hancock said this year they hope to be back to normal and back on Main Street.

Prizes for the parade are made possible through corporate sponsors and community donations.

The Railroad Museum is currently operating under temporary hours, due to Covid. They are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We are crossing our fingers we will be able to have Thomas this year,” Klotzbach said.

From left, Grace Stewart, volunteer coordinator at the Medina Railroad Museum; Rick Henn, president of the museum board; and Caitlyn Klotzbach, director of group sales and granddaughter of the museum’s founder Marty Phelps, pose with their plaque for being the grand prize winner in the Reverse Parade of Lights in November. This is the second year the museum has won the grand prize with their elaborately decorated train depot.