The Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce would like to acknowledge all of the groups and individuals who helped make the 18th annual Parade of Lights a wonderful experience for all involved. We certainly don’t put on this event by ourselves, and our partners in this yearly effort are the towns of Gardnerville and Minden and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Both the towns devote many hours of staff and volunteer time to the planning, staging and clean up for the event. Gardnerville makes the Heritage Park area the perfect place to organize the parade participants and the Town of Minden continues to add elements to the post parade festivities in their downtown. Both towns help place all of the signage and organize traffic flow so the event is safe for all involved.
The sheriff’s office provides the time of their officers for the parade. Without that, the event cannot go on. In addition, many units within the DCSO perform the difficult job of crowd and traffic control. These include search and rescue (who also are indispensable in the deployment of traffic control signage), citizens patrol, mounted posse and Explorers. Without their active participation, the parade would be impossible to put on.
There are others who need to be thanked as well. Nevada Highway Patrol goes out of their way during the busy holiday season to make sure that our primary traffic control areas are staffed by professionals for the parade. The Douglas County GIS Department assists with the mapping we need for the parade permits and the Douglas County Road Maintenance Division of Public Works provides much of the signage that we need to use. Granite Construction stepped up enormously this year and donated the balance of the signage, cones and reader boards that are required.
Douglas County Parks and Recreation provides the PA system we use in downtown Minden. The Carson Valley Inn delivers, places and picks up the staging we use for that location. Main Street Gardnerville made sure that this year, parade spectators around the museum area had the benefit of an announcing stand as well. Dwight and Dianna Borges of Borges Sleigh Rides make sure that Santa gets to ride in style every year and The Record-Courier does a stellar job of helping us get the word out to the community about the parade.
There are also individuals who deserve extra recognition. The town managers, Tom Dallaire of Gardnerville and Jenifer Davidson of Minden, and Capt. David Aymami of DCSO put many hours into the planning of the parade. Chamber Ambassador Vice Chair and Clerk-Treasurer Ted Thran is our “chief engineer” for the PA system in Minden. Ambassador Sheila Byington helped at the front end and then, along with Chamber Administrative Assistant Gina Macabales, risked frostbitten hands to photograph the entries.
Judges Mike Olson, George Swetland, Jeri Johnson and Ursula Prebezac (with assistance from Ralph Johnson) perform that difficult job and have fun doing it, and our grand marshals, the board of directors of the Douglas County Historical Society, bundled up to take a well deserved bow. Troy Alfonso of Capital Ford Hyundai provided the vehicle that transported our grand marshals. Jessica Jensen and Drew Aguilar add to the fun as the announcing team in Minden. Lloyd Higuera and Paula Lochridge did that job with style in Gardnerville.
Our winners this year, Valley Christian Fellowship (nonprofit-service), Sierra Inline Hockey League (youth), Starbucks (business), the Town of Minden (government) and the Town of Gardnerville/Main Street Gardnerville (judges choice) did a great job, but all of the participants deserve our thanks for putting on a great show in the cold. Most of all, our thanks to everyone who comes out to watch and participate in this community happening year after year. Whether it’s a perfect night or one with rain or snow or wind or just plain cold, you’re always there keeping this Carson Valley tradition vibrant.
Bill Chernock on behalf of the
Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce staff, board and members