It would seem all of Carson Valley and then some gathered down Main Street to watch the 25th annual Parade of Lights on Saturday.
After being canceled last year due to the coronavirus, spectators were happy to come together and continue the tradition.
Cousins Winston, Marcus, Mathias, Abraham, Nyah and Geneva Gudat look forward to the parade of lights every year and enjoy coming as a family for the event.
“It’s a special time to come together,” said 10-year-old Abraham Gudat.
Olivia Brown was a new visitor to the parade who made friends with the Gudats during the event.
“It’s been fun and I met some new friends too,” she said.
First-time goers Jenna Fortino, Maddy Regrut and Shayla Joe attend the University of Nevada, Reno and heard about the event through a friend.
“Our friend is helping in the DHS band so we wanted to come support her and it seemed like a fun event too,” said Fortino.
At least 60 entries in this year’s parade staged at Heritage Park and traveled down Main Street to Esmeralda Avenue.
Kiwanian and Project Santa Claus leader Gary Dove was the grand marshal for the parade with Santa Claus bringing up the end thanks to Borges Sleigh & Carriage Rides. In between, business and community people including Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Howell’s Lock and Safe, Under the Magic Pine Tree Daycare, Carson Valley FFA, Magical Washoe Princess float, Gardnerville Boy Scout Troop 495 and more decorated floats for the event. Special appearances from the Grinch, the Nightmare Before Christmas and Mrs. Claus were also part of the parade.
From the smiles and reactions of people lined along the parade route, it was a spectacular event and much missed after the break last year due to the coronavirus.
“I’m so happy they did the parade,” said Gardnerville resident Francissa Ramos. “It looks like everyone went all out this year.”
Saturday morning, 441 people breakfasted with Santa in Genoa following the lighting of the town Christmas tree the night before.
The 30th annual Minden Gazebo lighting brought as many people out Friday as it did for Gardnerville’s Christmas kickoff on Thursday.
Visitors roasted marshmallows and s’mores over open fires while the Douglas High School jazz band played Christmas carols and the All About Dance studio performed their “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” routine.
Eleven-year-old Khole Swain has been coming to the Minden lighting since her family moved to the area in 2014.
“I like the games and music,” she said. “The lights are pretty and the whole thing is just a fun event.”
Hosted by the town of Minden, children brought canned food to donate to the Carson Valley Food Closet and received goodie bags. Inside the bags were special tickets to receive more goodies or a golden ticket to help Santa Claus turn on the gazebo lights.
Six-year-old Gracielynn Edmey received the golden ticket and was excited for the honor to help Santa.
“It was really neat and special,” said Gracielynn.After the Lighting of the Gazebo Santa made his way to the CVIC Hall where children lined up to greet him and share their Christma