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THE BEGINNING — Local Rotarians carry the banner marking the start of this year’s parade.

To herald the holidays and the start of December, thousands of West Volusians lined Woodland Boulevard Dec. 1 for the 70th annual DeLand Christmas Parade.

The longtime DeLand tradition was produced for decades by the DeLand Jaycees, and is now presented as a joint effort of the city’s three Rotary clubs.

The 70th edition was a success by any measure, featuring more than 120 entries, including city officials in classic cars, creative floats from local businesses, marching musical acts and more.

Gray skies throughout much of the day threatened to put a damper on the festivities, but Mother Nature found her Christmas spirit in the afternoon, and the weather stayed dry — if unseasonably warm and humid — during the parade.

As in years past, The Beacon hosted an online poll where spectators could vote for their favorite entries.

Voting ran from the start of the parade, at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1, to 5 p.m. Dec. 3.

In all, 1,461 people cast votes for best musical entry, best nonprofit or community group float or entry, best commercial float or entry, and best pet- or animal-related entry — the highest turnout in the four years The Beacon has been running the poll.

Below are the top five results in each of the four categories.

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Editor, digital strategy manager