Record crowd attends parade
From the Douglas High School Jr. ROTC and Fighting Tiger Marching Band to Santa and the 45 floats in between, the 22nd annual Parade of Lights finalized Carson Valley’s Christmas kickoff Saturday with thousands of residents lining Main Street from Gardnerville to Minden.
“It was spectacular,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Chernock said. “The floats were wonderful, the crowds were off the charts. Everyone had a great time and it was a great turn out.”
The first parade of lights was Dec. 7, 1996, and was one of the events promoted by then-Record-Courier Publisher Tim Huether and was intended to provide quality entertainment for the Valley during the holidays.
This year the theme of the parade was an “Olde Time Christmas in the Carson Valley” with R-C Editor Kurt Hildebrand as the grand marshal.
The grand marshal of a parade is an honorary title given to an individual by the organizing committee.
“We use the grand marshal position as a way to recognize the long-term contributions of citizens to the community, and Kurt fit that bill perfectly,” Chernock said.
Hildebrand worked with Huether in the 1990s and has been editor of The Record-Courier since 2004.
He rode in the Bently Ranch 1946 Chevrolet pickup, driven by Ranch Manager Matt McKinney during the parade.
“You don’t realize how many people watch the parade until you’re in it,” Hildebrand said. “It was a great experience to be grand marshal. I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for keeping this Carson Valley tradition alive and thriving.”
The Town of Minden Manager Jenifer Davidson said this year’s turn-out for the parade was exceptional with a record number of attendees.
“Everyone was super excited to be out in the beautiful weather we had, probably the nicest we’ve had during the parade in a long time, and they were really happy to be out with their neighbors enjoying the festivities,” she said. “ It’s one of my favorite events of the year and just being a part of it and partnering with the Town of Gardnerville and Chamber of Commerce to put it on, it’s very heart warming.”
The Town of Minden’s float was the town fire truck and the calliope.
Gardnerville resident Susan Hill watched the parade in front of Sharkey’s and said it was a hit.
“I loved the parade,” she said. “Although, I’ve missed several parades, I do love to go. I love the community involvement and the weather was perfect.”
Hill said her favorite floats were the Grinch themed one, the Volts Wagon bus Christmas tree and the old truck with the grand marshal.
The winning floats were the Girl Scouts 321 in the Youth Division, Town of Minden in the Government Division, The Men and Women 20-30 Clubs in the non-profit Divisions, Joe Benigno’s Tree Service in the business division and the peoples’ choice award went to the Mutant Vehicle Misfits.