AUBURN — Onlookers couldn't help but turn their eyes to the pink bunny man on Genesee Street. 

David Gilmore, in a costume modeled after a bunny suit worn by the main character in the film "A Christmas Story," walked Saturday night with his partner in pink, his 3-year-old daughter Payton, who was dressed as Poppy from the movie "Trolls."

The reason for his furry attire was the annual holiday parade in Auburn. His friend, Tom Quinn, of Quinn Trucking in Auburn, had a vehicle shown in the event, so David jumped at the opportunity to join the fun.

Passersby were friendly and recognized the reference, David said.

"People have been warm and so nice," he said.

Packs of people lined both sides of Genesee Street to get a good look at the parade. Various vehicles decked out in wreaths and Christmas lights went by, while vehicles from the Auburn Police Department, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office and various local fire departments arguably provided the most illumination. Some people waved at the law enforcement and fire vehicles, while others saved their hands for shielding their ears from the sirens. 

While elf hats and Christmas trees could seen on some attractions — more unorthodox fare was present as well, like people dressed as "Ghostbusters" characters complete with an inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the 1984 film.

After participating in the parade years ago, Joanne Mathews wanted to see what the light-laden event was like from the sidewalk.

Mathews, who was with friends Linda and Bob Remaley, said she marched for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1975 in Auburn decades ago, as her deceased husband, Andrew, was in the U.S. Army. 

That long march was on a particularly cold day, Mathews said, as she was gripping a cold flag pole throughout. Though she hasn't been to the Auburn parade since, she wanted to see it with her friends. Linda Remaley was excited for the event, as she said she has never witnessed the parade despite living in Auburn her entire life.

"I am not one for the outdoors," Remaley said. "Especially in the winter, but this isn't bad weather, so I decided to do this and just watch, just to see what's going on."

Liam Nerau, saw the parade while in the arms of his mother, Brittany Nerau. Brittany and her husband, Victor Nerau Jr., said Liam, 2, didn't see the parade last year because the weather was unbearably cold, but they were glad their son could see it this year. While Liam's eyes wandered during different parts of the Yuletide event, his attention was squarely devoted to people dressed as the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat.

Ashley Mack took a cellphone picture of her son, Ian Mack, who was waving and greeting people for a vehicle representing Finger Lakes Minor Soccer League.

"Leave it up to my son to be the goofy one," Ashley Mack said.

Tori Mack, Ashley's daughter, said she is on break from her freshman break from the University of Rochester and she wanted to support her little brother and to what she considers a Christmas tradition.

"If I didn't go, it would feel like I was missing out on a part of the holiday," Tori Mack said.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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Education Reporter