21st annual Parade of Lights a tradition | RecordCourier.com

21st annual Parade of Lights a tradition

by Caryn Haller
Special to The R-C
2-year-old Nayeli Cilonis patiently waits for the parade to start Saturday evening.
Brad Coman |

Parade winners

Non profit. Shawn Watson (burning man vehicles)

Business. COD casino

Youth. Girl Scouts

Government. Town of Minden.

“The lights,” shouted 4-year-old Eli Kruger as he marched in step in his light up shoes with the Douglas High School JROTC.

Eli was one of hundreds of spectators at Saturday night’s 21st annual Parade of Lights.

For Minden resident Art Erickon, watching the kids’ reactions to the glowing floats is his favorite part of the parade.

“I enjoy watching the other spectators, and the kids and watching the glean in their eyes,” he added.

Long-time friend Marsha Herpich agreed.

“I like when they pass out candy to the kids,”she said.

The Parade of Lights originally used Douglas Avenue as its route.

“It was pretty great back in the beginning,” Gardnerville resident Georgia Page said of the parade. “We’ve brought grandkids every year. My oldest one is 35.”

Bringing a generator to run the hotdog griller and crockpot full of chili, Gardnerville resident Jerry Smith pulls out all the stops when it comes to the annual parade.

“We do this every year with the children and grandchildren,” he said. “It’s a special season to spend with the family. The lights in the parade brings it all together. Christmas is all about get-togethers, opening of gifts and the birth of Jesus.”

Saturday was bittersweet for her granddaughter Kaitlyn Smith who is leaving in January for college in Idaho.

“My papa always puts in a lot of work doing this. This will be the last one I go to before I leave for school. It’s a good time to spend with the family and make memories,” she said. “Someday I want to come with my own family, so they can experience this, too.”

Saturday’s parade had 52 entries with the theme of “Lucky to Live Here.”

“I enjoy the parade and being with my family,” Gardnerville resident Debby Noble said. “There’s not very many light parades, and this one opens the Christmas season.”

Float participants included Douglas Animal Welfare Group with their inflatable dalmation covered in shamrocks, Douglas Disposal featuring a giant inflatable Mickey Mouse and Snoopy, Boy Scout Troop 33 brought Mrs. Claus to town and the Nevada Farm Bureau had a western Christmas theme.

Spencer Trivitt was excited to see the FFA float go by with his girlfriend on it.

“It’s really cool we have small-town pride, and we still do this every year,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic. It always is. It gets me excited for Christmas.”

Dawnelle Wulstein enjoyed her first Parade of Lights Saturday after moving from Lake Tahoe a few years ago.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “First of all, the small-town pride is pretty cool. Our daughter is on the FFA float. This is completely different. I had no idea this kind of thing happened.”