VALE – Teri Doran likes Christmas parades.
So does Karlene Keller.
So, it isn’t surprising the two Vale residents helped kick off the first annual Vale Night Light Christmas Parade last year and are preparing for the 2023 edition.
This year’s Vale Christmas Light Parade will be Saturday, Dec. 9, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The parade won’t be the only special holiday event this weekend in Vale. The Vale Senior Citizens Christmas Market and Vale Farmers and Crafters Association Christmas Market are running this weekend as well. The markets will include vendors, music, food and pictures.
Both markets run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9. The markets are open from noon until 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 541-881-6089.
The parade will form at the Vale High School parking lot. The parade route will onto Viking Drive, then across to D Street and onto Yakima Street before it hits A Street. The parade ends at Vale City Hall where Santa Claus will be available for photos and candy canes.
The idea for the parade was broached by Doran, who owns the Vale Liquor Store, at a Vale Chamber of Commerce meeting in September 2022. Doran said she organized the first holiday night parade in Sumpter 25 years ago when she owned a business in that small eastern Oregon town.
The premise of the night light parade is celebrating the community, she said.
“Vale didn’t have anything going on for Christmas and they needed something to get people out of the house and involved,” said Doran.
Keller said she became involved when her husband, Dwight, who is also a member of the chamber, came home from the 2022 meeting.
“He came home and told me he had volunteered me for a project,” said Keller.
Keller said she was happy he volunteered her.
“I said yay! I’m excited,” said Keller
Keller said Christmas is a special time of year and should be celebrated by the town.
“I just love Christmas lights. To me they are like the spring flowers after a long winter. I’ve always liked Nyssa’s light parade,” said Keller.
Vale Mayor Tom Vialpando said the parade was a big hit last year.
“As our mayor I want to build that community spirit and we had such a great reception last year we had to do it again,” he said.
The parade is an informal affair. No one has to register to be in it and people can participate with trucks, cars, tractors, floats, horses and ATVs, said Vialpando.
All they have to do is show up at the high school before 5:30 p.m.
“You can decorate your bikes, pickup, car. Just show up,” said Keller.
Doran said “so far it’s working.”
“People can start coming by 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. People can sit in their cars where its warm and enjoy it. If they have little people they can bring them to city hall to meet Santa,” said Doran.
Vialpando said the parade will be a good time for everyone.
“It is just a fun activity, something fun to do and get out of the house,” he said.
Vialpando said the parade route this year was modified so it will pass Pioneer Place.
“One thing we tried to do that is important is for Pioneer Place residents to have an opportunity to view the parade,” he said.
Keller said the parade is one way to battle “negativity and gloom and doom”
It’s nice to have something cheery.”
For more information, contact Keller at 541-881-7861 or Doran at 541-519-0855.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
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