NCK Tech earns top honors at FrostFest


North Central Kansas Technical College was the people's choice winner in Saturday's 12th annual FrostFest Illuminated Parade in downtown Hays.

NCK Tech's float was voted to the top by the hundreds of people who lined Main Street in downtown Hays to watch the parade, this year themed "Candy Cane Lane."

The theme came from Michelle Callahan's third-grade classroom at Roosevelt Elementary School, and those students were honored as this year's collective grand marshal, walking in front dressed as candy canes.

Entries were judged on the use of theme, lighting and creativity.

NCK Tech not only won the people's choice award of $100 in Chamber Cheques but also received the same amount for school division winner.

Montana Mike's, the business category winner, finished second among the people watching the parade. Another division winner -- the Hays Public Library, which won the "other" category -- was third among people's choice winners.

The number of entries (40) was up from last year, and Traci Konrade, executive director of the Downtown Hays Development Corp., said the committee was pleased with the turnout.

"I thought it was fabulous," she said.

"We couldn't have asked for better weather," she added about the last pleasant brisk evening before Sunday's cold front blew in with a blustery north wind.

"It wasn't windy (Saturday)," Konrade said, "which made it great for the floats, especially the people riding on them."

The winner of choosing the theme for next year's parade was Jaelynn Wells, a third-grader at Lincoln Elementary School.

She will get the honor of serving as grand marshal for the 2013 event, whose theme will be "Inside Santa's Workshop."