CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The honorary Grand Marshal of this year’s Parade of Lights has been announced.
It will be the inventor of the light-emitting diode (or LED) Nick Holonyak Jr.
Holonyak Jr. is a native of Ziegler and three-time graduate of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois.
He is known as the father of the LED, having created the first visible light-emitting diode in 1962 and was part of the technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories and General Electric before coming to the University of Illinois to take up a professorship, where in 1993 he was named to the John Bardeen Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics. Holonyak Jr., who holds 41 patents, retired as professor emeritus in 2013 and currently resides at Clark-Lindsey with his wife Kay.
“Nick Holonyak Jr.’s contribution to technological advancement is incredible,” stated Tricia Johnson, Parade of Lights Committee Chair. “We are excited to honor his scientific achievements at this year’s Parade of Lights, a fitting event for the inventor of the LED which illuminates our parade!”
This year’s theme is Winter Wonderland. Pre-parade programming begins with the first annual Shop Local Holiday Market. Community members can expect visits with Santa at Big Grove Tavern, horse and carriage rides, a Find Frosty! scavenger hunt, and live entertainment.
2019 Champaign Center Parade of Lights
November 30, 6:00 p.m.