Torchlight's first place float is family project

The first place float in this year’s Torchlight Parade was sponsored by Odenthal Meats. It was designed and decorated Don and Therese Hlavac and their granddaughter, Jenna, 12. (Wade Young Photo)

The winners in this year’s Torchlight Parade don’t care about winning first place. The real prizes for them are the reactions from the kids’ faces when they pass by on the parade route.
 
The first place winner of this year’s parade was sponsored by Odenthal Meats out of Heidelberg. Therese and Don Hlavac of Heidelberg created the float with the help from their granddaughter, Jenna, 12, who attends New Prague Middle School. 
 
Therese said building and creating the float is something the whole family has been participating in since Jenna was a toddler. 
 
“We started doing this because she wanted to do it,” Therese explains. 
 
The creative process from start to finish involves all three of them. Jenna and Don come up with the theme; Therese sews all of the costumes; and Don builds the float, with help from Jenna. 
 
“It’s a family thing, but mostly Jenna and her grandpa. She is his inspiration,” Therese said.
 
 
The themes over the years have always been a nod toward pop culture. Themes included Minions, Chipmunks and Star Wars.
 
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