ST. CLOUD -- Thousands of area citizens came out to see the 14th annual Winter Nights and Lights Parade in downtown St. Cloud tonight.

The Grand Marshal of the event was Olympian hockey player and St. Cloud native Anne Schleper,  who led the parade and greeted the crowd.

Tami DeLand, Chair of St. Cloud's Downtown Council says that the experienced members of the board have gotten the planning of the parade down to a science.

DeLand says that the committee began coordinating the parade months ago.

This year's parade marks the 4th that DeLand has been involved in, and she says that seeing the effect it has on the children in the area is her favorite part.

An estimated 10,000 people packed Saint Germain Street to see the several parade floats and performances.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON