Holiday cheer came to downtown Paducah on Saturday with the annual Candy Cane Hunt and Christmas Parade.
Kicking off the day's events was the annual award-winning Candy Cane Hunt on the Carson Center lawn -- named the Kentucky Recreation & Park Society's Class IV Program of the Year for 2019 -- and a Holiday Coloring Contest sponsored by the Yeiser Art Center.
Between 275 and 300 children registered and participated in this year's Candy Cane Hunt.
"The event continues to grow each year," said Zachary Boyaskri, Paducah Parks and Recreation assistant recreation specialist.
"This is a great event for kids, and families come out and enjoy their Saturday mornings and early afternoon together," he said.
There were over 3,000 candy canes spread across the Carson Center lawn Saturday, some of which were marked for special prizes. Banterra Bank provided the candy canes and prizes.
Dillon Crawford, 8, of Paducah, and veteran of the event, shared some insight of what it takes for a successful hunt. He said there was no real secret, "mostly just have your eyes on one spot and see where a lot are at."
Lyrae Stanley was one of the lucky ones who found a special candy cane. "I just went for middle and did not worry about looking anywhere else," she said. She was also looking forward to the parade, where she said she enjoyed the whole thing.
This year's Paducah Christmas Parade had 230 to 240 participants, from floats, vehicles, walking groups and bands to name a few. Each showcased their interpretation of "Christmas Around the World," the theme for this year's parade.
Molly Johnson, city of Paducah special events coordinator, said this year's parade was its largest yet.
"Of the 100-plus entries, we had 21 themed floats, three drill teams, eight religious organizations, 12 non-floats, one school and two bands that were all being judged," she said.
"Here lately, there seems to be a rising trend with entries and overall participation doubling," Johnson said, as she entered her sixth year heading the parade.
Paducah native, restaurateur and Bravo TV's Season 16 "Top Chef" runner-up Sarah Bradley was chosen to lead this year's parade as grand marshal. Bradley, who grew up watching the parade, said, "I don't think I've ever seen so many smiling faces in my entire life."
"All the kids and the parents, its just an opportunity for everyone in this community to come together. It was neat to be a grand marshal and have this opportunity," she said.
The Yeiser Art Center-sponsored coloring contest saw around the same number of participants as the Candy Cane Hunt. Winners of the coloring contest will be announced later by the Yeiser Art Center.