SAUK RAPIDS - The Sauk Rapids Community Ambassadors and local VFW teamed up to help get the 2017 Sauk Rapids Parade of Lights and Family Fun Day off to a cheerful start.

Early in the day, the two hosted bingo for the kids and a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

2017 Sauk Rapids Community Ambassador Brooklyn Harren says she has a lot of fond memories of the yearly event.

"I remember watching the Parade of Lights when I was little and wanting to [be a princess]. So it is fun to come back and live it."

While Christmas fun can be found throughout Sauk Rapids all day, Lindsey Trimbo says this event helps the Ambassadors raise money for things like scholarships.

"We are a non-profit organization and all the money helps us put together a wonderful event for the ladies that are competing for the [community ambassador]."

Harren is one of the beneficiaries of the annual scholarships. She is a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

Members of the VFW and ambassadors all said this may be the most kids they have ever seen come to the bingo event.

"There are so many kids in there, which is great. We had to add more tables and chairs just o fit everyone."

The Community Ambassadors say they could not do any of these events without yearly help from the Sauk Rapids VFW.

Other events throughout the day include a Toys for Tots drive at the Sauk Rapids Fire Department, steak fry and meat raffle, the live nativity scene and the annual Holiday Parade of Lights.