By Curtis Aderholdt, at WAOW
Because of a significant increase in float entries, the parade took nearly two hours to travel from Marathon Park to the 400 block Friday evening.
"This year we have 99 floats and that is about 20 to 27 more than we had last year. There are a lot of fun entries to look for," said Sara Hujar of Wausau Area Events.
Hundreds lined the streets to see the "Winter Wonderland" themed floats.
Santa and Mayor Mielke lit up the city tree on the 400 block after the parade finished.
Businesses and floats in the parade also had the chance to win a best-float competition; the winners were then able to donate their winnings.
"It's a great opportunity for businesses to get their name out and to enter into the competition to donate $100 to charity," said Miss Wisconsin winner Grace Stanke
Stanke is a Rib Mountain native. She played renditions of Christmas tunes on the violin in the parade despite the chilly temperatures.
Members of our own Newsline 9 crew walked the parade route as well, including Melissa Langbehn, Tony Schumacher, Justin Loew, and Courtney Terlecki.