The Valley comes together for Minden Lighting |

The Valley comes together for Minden Lighting

Cooper McGarry, 4, and his sister Maddie, 6, visit with Santa Friday night in downtown Minden.
Brad Coman |

“We wish you a Merry Christmas” was the phrase on everyone’s lips and not just a song performed by the Douglas High School Jazz Band during the Minden gazebo lighting Friday.

Carson Valley residents mingled around fire-pits, roasting marshmallows and celebrating with friends, family and neighbors as Minden welcomed the holidays.

“It’s an old-fashioned lighting of the park,” said D.J. Bill McClain, “where we not only welcome you to Minden, but the holidays too as we gather with friends and neighbors.”

Residents couldn’t agree with McClain more.

Amanda Ford and her children were staying warm by a fire-pit munching on cookies and listening to the band.

“We’ve been coming since we moved to the area 3 years ago,” said Ford. “It’s the community and the togetherness that makes it special.”

Joel Potter echoed that when he said it’s the gathering of the community and the small town feel where everyone comes together and know one another and where children meet up with friends and run around the park as their parents stay warm and mingle by the fire pits.

Town Manager Jenifer Davidson said the event is part of a valley wide Christmas tradition that makes the community a special place to live and that was proven throughout the night.

When it was time to light the gazebo Santa Claus began the count down and 7-year-old Hailey Macdonell was the lucky child who helped him turn on the lights.

“It was a lot of fun and exciting,” said Hailey. “I was really surpised and happy to do it.”

Though the event is an annual tradition it is always a wonder as the gazebo is lit and faces light up along with it.

After the park was lit up many stayed to snag a picture with Santa and watch the All About Dance studio’s performance of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and other hit Christmas songs. It was their ending message of Merry Christmas that dispersed the crowd and closed the night.