Minden Gazebo lights up night and the faces of attendees | RecordCourier.com

Minden Gazebo lights up night and the faces of attendees

by Rachel Spacek
Golden ticket winner Grace Hettrick, 6, flips the switch on the gazebo lights Friday night in Minden Park.
Brad Coman |

The Minden Park Gazebo lit up the cold evening on Friday night to cheers and applause from the hundreds in attendance during the annual Minden Park Gazebo lighting.

Grace Hettrick, 6, was chosen this year as the child to be “Santa’s helper” and she helped Santa light up the gazebo. Other children, like Raegan, 4, and Mackenzie Summers, 2, were huddled around a fire bit roasting s’mores. Their mother, Caycee Summers was born and raised in Minden and said she loves to support the town at events like the Gazebo lighting.

“Watching the girls’ excitement when the lights go on is the best part,” said Summers.

Summers said seeing her kids excited and seeing the excitement on all the kids’ faces is part of what makes the event great.

Another two girls, Skyler and Victoria were visiting from Southern California to see the gazebo lighting with their aunt, Jacie Peters. This was Peters’ sixth year attending the gazebo lighting. She said she loves to support her hometown and there is no where else you can go for an event like this.

“We are here for the light show and to see Santa,” Peters said.

Peters said she is really proud of the town for putting an event like the lighting together for the community.

Prior to Santa’s arrival, the Douglas High School Jazz Band put on a show to a large group of community members who were crowded and huddled on Esmeralda Avenue enjoying s’mores and hot cocoa.

The Tahoe-Douglas Elks gave attendees the opportunity to take a break from s’more making to play some rounds of their tree bingo.

The event also collected cans and monetary donations for the Carson Valley Food Closet. Children who brought a can or donated money were entered into a drawing to be Santa’s helper and were given a goodie bag.

Minden Town Board Chairman Bill Souligny thanked the board for supporting the event. He also thanked Carson Valley Inn for providing some of the refreshments for the evening and the community for supporting the event.