Marshall residents spread holiday cheer from a distance during ‘Car-oling Parade’

MARSHALL, Wis. — Marshall residents weren’t going to let the pandemic stop them from finding new ways to spread holiday cheer (from a safe distance) during Sunday’s “Car-oling Parade.”

The parade, hosted by the Marshall Area Business Association, featured a line-up of vehicles playing holiday music while families dress in festive attire sang-along. Participating families made their way around the town, beginning at Marshall High School and ending at the Marshall Fire Department.

“I just hope that it relieves them a little bit of anything that they have been dealing with, and just bring a little hope to their life that we’ll get things back on the calendar,” Bergholz said.

Julie Bergholz, who owns Tom’s Guns in Marshall, had the idea for the parade after doing car karaoke with her grandkids. She wanted to find a way to help boost the holiday spirit while keeping people safe.

“In the middle of the night one night I just thought ‘oh my gosh, wouldn’t that be fun for our community and for the people that are stuck at home,'” Bergholz said. “If we can bring them joy that’s awesome.”

Bergholz also designed the parade’s route, intentionally making sure to pass by two of Marshall’s elderly homes: Sienna Crest Assisted Living and So Close To Home. She said because many elderly homes residents are unable to be with their families for the holidays because of the pandemic this year, she wanted to make sure to include them in the festivities.

Residents who were unable to participate in the parade were encouraged to watch and sing-along from their front laws or along the parade route.

Bergholz encouraged Marshall residents to decorate their homes and businesses to help the town look extra festive this year for all to enjoy. She wrote in a Facebook post: “Let’s fill Marshall with lights and hope!” She also shared that she wanted to inspire a “spirit of togetherness.”

“We’re not a large community, but we care for each other as many communities do,” Bergholz said. “They’re all trying so hard to bring something exciting to their residence and that’s what we’re trying to do as well.”