Lighting the way |

Lighting the way

by San T. Claus
R-C North Pole Bureau
A Burning Man art car shoots flames on Esmeralda Avenue during last year's parade.
Brad Coman |

Members of the Douglas High School Fighting Tiger Marching Band will perform at the 22nd annual Parade of Lights on Saturday.

They will be among 40-50 entries in the parade that closes Highway 395 between Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville and Esmeralda Avenue in Minden.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Chernock said the forecast for Saturday is improving.

“The weather is getting better as we get closer, and the chance of precipitation is low,” he said. “The temperatures aren’t going to be too cold. This will be a great year to come down and check it out.”

With wind chill, parade-goers should bundle up against temperatures in the upper 30s for the annual Christmas event.

The parade lines up at Heritage Park in Gardnerville and then turns onto Main Street until reaching Minden. Entrants travel down Esmeralda Avenue before dispersing at Minden Park.

Various groups are hosting parade watching parties, including Carson Valley Community Theater, which will open the Copeland Center Annex 5-9 p.m. to the public. The center is located at 1572 Highway 395.

Highway 395 through Gardnerville and Minden will be closed along the parade route around 4 p.m., Chernock said. The parade kicks off at 5 p.m.

Northbound motorists seeking an alternate route around town should take Waterloo to Centerville and then over to Highway 88.

The highway reopens as the parade passes and the clean-up crew completes their tasks.

The first parade of lights was Dec. 7, 1996, and was one of the events promoted by then-Record-Courier Publisher Tim Huether.

This year will hearken back to that original parade with Grand Marshal R-C Editor Kurt Hildebrand, who worked with Huether in the early 1990s.

Carson Valley Christmas events started Thursday in Gardnerville in Heritage Park and continue today and Saturday.