Valley residents in holiday spirit for annual Parade of Lights |

Valley residents in holiday spirit for annual Parade of Lights

by Joey Crandall, Staff Writer

Scattered rain drops fell on spectators huddled in groups along Highway 395 in order to fend off falling temperatures during the eighth annual Parade of Lights Saturday night.

County Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen and County Manager Dan Holler led off the parade, darting about in compact utility tractors.

Children in the crowds started up immediately.

“We want candy!”

Kids scrambled into the road, stuffing candy in their mouths, pockets and Santa hats.

The excitement was too much for one youth, who went tearing down the street screaming “Candy” repeatedly.

Some wore light-up shoes and glow sticks for the occasion. Others just laid on the road pavement to rest during breaks in the action.

Parking lots along Main Street were occupied mainly by casual observers watching from the comfort and heat of their vehicles.

The nearly 30 entered floats ranged in appearance from a patriotic dancing drill team to fire trucks disguised as horses blaring country music.

Participants on some floats shouted Christmas greetings and holiday well-wishes to the crowd while others were more blunt.

“We don’t have any candy,” one float driver shouted.

A group aboard one float chanted “U.S.A.” repeatedly, while still another sang Christmas carols.

The Douglas High School Marching Band drew some of the loudest cheers of the night, playing a march rendition of “Jingle Bells” while high-stepping down the road in Santa hats.

Another popular entry was a series of horse-drawn carriages. Stoic steeds, freshly groomed and decked out with Christmas lights pranced along to the delight of the children.

Santa Claus tailed the entire procession, riding a Corley Ranch stage coach into Minden Park and wishing season’s best on the Carson Valley.

It was the Santa float that ended up winning the first place award in the business category.

“We normally don’t award the Santa float,” said Suzanne Rosevold, executive director of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Authority. “But the judges (three travel writers and a significant other) were so impressed with it, we felt we needed to honor their unbiased opinion.”

The Calvary Kids Club float, “Calvary Cavalry” won first place in the youth category, while the Back Country Horsemen won in the Church/Civic Group category.

The Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department won in the First Responders category.

– Joey Crandall can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.