The weather was crisp and clear on Saturday evening, Dec. 18 as residents of Valley Home turned out in force for the community’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade.
Several parade entries lined up in the parking lot of the school, awash with holiday lighting themes; some also featured music and tossed candy to youngsters along the parade route.
The parade saw former longtime fire chief Jerry Benedix honored as Grand Marshal, on board the first float in the procession. He was joined by wife Edwina and many other family members on the float, relishing the opportunity to wave to friends and neighbors as the parade made a three lap tour around the block.
A bicycle was decorated with a string of Christmas lights, children on another float sang Christmas carols as they passed by and a couple of different Santa Claus stand-ins were part of the festivities as well.
Just the first event of the night, the parade kicked off about 6 p.m., then community residents gathered by the Christmas tree adjacent to the park for a countdown and tree lighting. Christmas carols were sung and some fake snow started to fall, delighting the kids in attendance.
From there, it was a stop at the pavilion in the park for some refreshments and a reenactment of The Nativity by several costumed youngsters, telling the story of Mary and Joseph welcoming Baby Jesus in a manger, with the shepherds and wise men finding them in Bethlehem.
Serving as narrator for the Nativity and also leading the group in singing Christmas carols was Callie Chrisman.
The cookie spread in the pavilion was also part of a traditional ‘cookie exchange’ where you could donate a dozen and take a dozen home for the holidays.