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Abandoned eclipse-goers vehicle adopted by Madras family and wins Best in Show trophy in parade.

HOLLY GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - Jeff Hurd's 'Space Ambulance' won the rotating trophy for the Best in Show at the Madras Christmas Lights Parade.The dreamy "Space Ambulance" was selected as the winner of the rotating trophy for the best entry in the Christmas Lights Parade, sponsored by the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. This year's theme was "Winterland of Dreams."

One of the most unusual entries was a "Space Ambulance," entered by owner Jeff Hurd, which featured a double-decker vehicle festooned with eight round portals for windows.

Hurd said the contraption was a casualty of the eclipse-related Symbiosis festival. The California owners were on their way to Symbiosis, when their vehicle broke down in Madras. Realizing it would cost too much to repair, Hurd said, "They offered it for free on Craig's List to whoever wanted it, or said they were taking it to the dump."

"I brought it home and got it running good enough to put in parades and use for fun," he said. The previous owners had taken a 1992 Chevy short bus, added a platform on top, made portals by cutting circles out of plywood and putting them over the windows, and christened it the "Space Ambulance."

"It's a lot of fun. We're planning to use it to haul runners for relay races," said Hurd, who with his wife Jamie is an avid runner.

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