Annual Corvallis Community Christmas Parade lights up Fourth Street

2013-12-01T11:30:00Z 2013-12-02T00:00:31Z Annual Corvallis Community Christmas Parade lights up Fourth StreetBy CANDA FUQUA, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times
December 01, 2013 11:30 am  • 

Church volunteers passed out hot chocolate, Corvallis police officers gave away candy canes and children waved and laughed with glee as a record number of lit-up parade entries traveled up the spectator-lined Southwest Fourth Street during the 29th annual Corvallis Community Christmas Parade on Saturday night.

“I love all the CANDY!” exclaimed spectator 4-year-old Blaise Neil.

His sister, Eyra Neil, 7, concurred.

“Look at our stash of candy,” she said. “That’s all ours!”

Their parents, Maggie and Jason Neil, grew up in Corvallis, but Saturday marked Jason’s first time attending the parade.

Traditionally held the Friday after Thanksgiving, this year’s parade was moved to Saturday so as not to coincide with the Civil War football game between the Oregon State Beavers and Oregon Ducks.

Sponsored by the Corvallis Lions Club and the Downtown Corvallis Association, the parade featured traditional walking entries, floats, dogs, kinetic sculptures, Kazoo bands and other music, a fleet of Benton County Sheriff’s Office vehicles and more.

The Grand Marshals for the parade were the Singing Leslie Family, who have participated in many a past parade, providing music before the tree-lighting ceremony at the Benton County Courthouse that concludes the annual event.

Although the weather was warm by Oregon standards, it wasn’t as tropical as the parade’s theme, “Hawaiian Aloha Christmas.”

One float rider strummed a ukulele beneath palm trees made from carpet spools, cardboard palms and balloons as coconuts. The large spools also held up the float’s tiki bar, which served less-tropical drinks to its riders.

“We have hot cider and hot chocolate to go,” said Wendy Zuidema, who helped build the float for the Corvallis Evangelical Church over a couple weekends in her garage.

It won the award for best nonprofit or civic entry.

If most lighted entry was a category, the Sears Family and Friends Flatbed would have taken home the prize. More than 30,000 lights made the semi truck and flatbed trailer glow in the night from blocks away. The trailer portion alone, which featured a nativity scene, snowmen and sleigh with reindeer, took 10,000 watts of energy to light up, David Sears said. He won best commercial entry.

All of the parade winners are as follows:

Best use of theme: 4-H Blue Ribbonaires and 4-H Buckles and Spurs

Best commercial entry: Sears Family and Friends Flatbed

Best use of lights: Benton County Public Works Dump Truck

Best county entry: Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit of Benton County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue

Best nonprofit/civic entry: Corvallis Evangelical Church

Best use of music: Aloha Rocket and Kazoo Marching Brigade

Best animal entry: Benton County Fair Rodeo Queen Alyssa

Best walking entry: 4-H Four Paws and 4-H Power Paws Club

Reporter ​Canda Fuqua can be reached at 541-758-9548 or Follow her on Twitter @CandaFuqua.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. TheRealJules
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    TheRealJules - December 02, 2013 2:35 pm
    "It's a city Holiday Parade. Not strictly Christmas."

    Yes, some people will try to rip Christmas out of the hands of those who celebrate it every chance they get. They're depressed that their secular holidays aren't as popular, so they denigrate Christmas celebrations for being so ... Christmassy?

    From the article you are commenting on: "Although the weather was warm by Oregon standards, it wasn’t as tropical as the parade’s theme, “Hawaiian Aloha Christmas.”"

    Which part of the word "Christmas" confuses you, Stand Up? The fact that it was, indeed, open to all in a spirit of sharing and community?

    "... I'm pretty sure they would get both cheers and jeers just as many entrants do."

    So, tell us, Stand Up. What floats in the Christmas Parade did you jeer at? Do you go just to jeer, or what?
  2. Stand Up
    Report Abuse
    Stand Up - December 02, 2013 2:15 pm
    Oh Harry, my mistake, I thought you meant something bad was seen by all. I saw them walking with their opinion signs. I saw no political rally break out, as you spoke of. I saw a group of people walking in the city parade sharing what they believe in. I also saw the Hero Carpet cleaning guy on his van gently pushing his agenda, and Bobs towing, and the Mayor and the police and the Corgis and churches and children and the Singing Leslies, and a democrat Santa.

    It's a city Holiday Parade. Not strictly Christmas. Those in the parade and those watching it were doing a good thing. Supporting the diverse community of Corvallis and the surrounding areas. If the NRA wants to walk with signs I'm pretty sure they would get both cheers and jeers just as many entrants do.

  3. Harry Mallory
    Report Abuse
    Harry Mallory - December 01, 2013 2:17 pm
    I dont see how you missed it. I doubt they quit early. If you were there you saw them, and are sympathetic to their cause and therefore dont see their agenda; (Free health care for all), as political. Fine, next year Im advocating the NRA is allowed to join.
  4. Stand Up
    Report Abuse
    Stand Up - December 01, 2013 2:02 pm
    Political rally broke out? Really? Could you explain where and how? I must have missed it. Where were you standing?
  5. Harry Mallory
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    Harry Mallory - December 01, 2013 1:15 pm
    I was surprised to see a political rally broke out amongst the Christmas parade. Can the Westboro Baptist Church participate next year? Here's a better idea: Stick to a Christmas only theme, not somebody's personal political agenda.
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