by Bill Chernock, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce
Carson Valley’s brightest celebration of the holiday season will take to the streets for the 18th Annual Parade of Lights on Saturday December 7th beginning at 5 p.m. Residents and visitors will line Highway 395 between Eddy Street in Gardnerville and downtown Minden to watch dozens of colorfully decorated floats.
The hometown feel of the parade should be even stronger than usual this year as the ‘Our Town’ theme is put into the parade entries. How each of the over forty participants brings the theme alive should be fun to see. The parade route has been altered slightly this year. The floats will stage on Gilman Street near Heritage Park, proceed to Ezell and then to Eddy and enter Main Street from Eddy to make their way down Main Street to Esmeralda and Minden Town Park.
Honored as the Grand Marshalls this year, the Board of the Douglas County Historical Society is a perfect fit for the theme. Their work encompasses all of the ‘Our Towns’ that make up the Valley, and while their focus may be on the past, their activities in the present keep our history vibrant and ensure it has a place in our future. They’ll be riding in style in two new Mustang convertibles provided by Capital Ford Hyundai.
Parade entrants compete in categories and the judges, stationed outside the museum, will name the best entries in youth, government, service club/non-profit and business categories as well as their choice for best overall. The winners will be announced in the CVIC Hall shortly after the conclusion of the parade.
At both ends of the parade, in Heritage Park and downtown Minden, parade goers can enjoy music, holiday light shows and more. Post parade, there will be firepits for s’mores, live music and fun on Esmeralda Avenue and the CVIC Hall is especially family friendly this year, with activities provided by the Town of Minden and the Carson Valley Art Association.
The event is produced by staff and volunteers from the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce with the assistance of the Towns of Gardnerville and Minden, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Highway Patrol and The Record-Courier.
The highway will close between Buckeye and Waterloo shortly after 4 for the event and reopens immediately after the parade, which should be approximately 6:00 to 6:15. Detours around the parade route are available.
Everyone is encouraged to bundle up for this evening of holiday celebration with Carson Valley’s most popular holiday tradition.