DEL NORTE—The town was alight with colorful lights and decorations as the late afternoon wore into evening last Friday, Dec. 1 in preparation for the annual Parade of Lights. Volunteers gathered along Highway 160 setting up fire pits for the night’s festivities while floats began to line up along the back streets. This year’s theme was “Back to the 80s,” and the town was bright with the nostalgic feeling of an old school Christmas celebration.
In addition to the parade, several businesses along Grande Avenue were open to the public. Guests began to line the streets, seeking warmth at the fires and setting up for the coming parade while wandering into shops and other establishments like the Del Norte Public Library for warm beverages and sweet treats. The High Valley Community Center was also open to the public to come in and enjoy some activities, door prizes, and later in the evening, Santa was available to take Christmas wishes from area children.
As the night wore on, the streets began to fill up with spectators eager for a delightfully colorful show. The Del Norte Police Department worked endlessly to prepare traffic for the closure of Highway 160. There was a total of 19 floats this year participating in the parade and each one represented a business or organization from around the area. Trucks pulling trailers adorned with festive displays slowly made their way down Grande Avenue just after 6 p.m. and were met with holiday greetings from the crowd.
The displays were creative and designed to ignite the holiday spirit in the crowd of spectators. Everything from train engines, to inflatable Santas and floats adorned with Christmas scenes traveled along the street tossing candy and holiday cheer as they went. The night was a huge success and ended in a spectacular firework display just after the parade ended.
“All of the entries were amazing! It was obvious that a great amount of time and energy went into each float. The fireworks were incredible; the Merchant Open House was a huge success! The Del Norte Chamber was really excited to have had such a great event and would like to thank all of the businesses, sponsors, float entries and everyone that participated,” said chamber representative and HVCC Director Adrienne Atencio.
Winners for this year’s parade came down to a two-way tie between Boogies Restaurant and HVCC. Both were awarded first place.