Organizers of the 9News Parade of Lights have added more of a cultural flair to this year’s festivities, putting samba dancers and a West African-inspired drum ensemble in the lineup.

The 37th annual parade will showcase three-person Kusogea Nobi Drum Ensemble for the first time. The Denver-based group will perform on a roughly 12-by-6 trailer, which organizers built for the group.

In addition, performers from nonprofit Boulder Samba School are slated to perform for the first time in the parade.

The groups will join existing cultural performers Colorado Mestizo Dancers, Japanese drum ensemble Denver Taiko and, tomorrow only, Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu.

“It’s part of an outreach that we have to make sure that the parade is really embracing the cultural and ethnic diversity of our community,” said Susan Rogers Kark, vice president of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “It was something that we felt would really add to it.”

Bob Hall, director of the Kusogea Nobi Drum Ensemble, said

the parade’s inclusion of various cultural performances will showcase a “little flavor of home, so to speak.” wherever the performers are from. He said: “It’s basically universal pulse.”

9News Parade of Lights

WHEN: The parade, which will feature more than 40 entries, will be at 8 p.m. Friday, December 2, and 6 p.m. Saturday, December 3.

WHERE: Route includes Tremont Place and 17th, Arapahoe and 15th streets.

For more, go to:

Matthew Rodriguez at 303-954-2409 or