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Community gathering lights up the town

Parade of Lights in Seaside
By Katherine Lacaze

The Daily Astorian

Published on November 26, 2018 11:06AM

Last changed on November 28, 2018 2:20PM

All lit up at the 2018 Parade of Lights.

Jeff Ter Har/For Seaside Signal

All lit up at the 2018 Parade of Lights.

On the parade route.

Jeff Ter Har/For Seaside Signal

On the parade route.

School spirit on display at the 2018 Parade of Lights.

Jeff Ter Har/For Seaside Signal

School spirit on display at the 2018 Parade of Lights.

Mayor Jay Barber, left and Jan Barber, right, welcome Santa to Seaside.

Jeff Ter Har/For Seaside Signal

Mayor Jay Barber, left and Jan Barber, right, welcome Santa to Seaside.


Friday night, Nov. 23, saw the 2018 celebration of the Parade of Lights — featuring spectacular floats, brightly lit vehicles, and groups of people embellished with lights or carrying glow sticks — all winding through downtown Seaside in what Chamber of Commerce Director Brian Owen describes as a “community gathering.”

“With Santa Claus and the lighting of the tree and the caroling and the parade all in one, it’s one of the most energetic, romantic events Seaside puts on,” Owen said. “We really encourage everybody to be a part of this program.”

As a member of all the regional Chambers of Commerce, Dunlap said, Pacific Power serves as the signature sponsor for at least one community event for each. The company works with the chambers to select what that event should be.

“Given that it’s the Parade of Lights, and we’re a power company, we thought it was a good synergy to participate as the signature sponsor,” Dunlap said.

Owen added, “They really have a great history of making sure this parade happens for everybody.”


Sense of wonder


Pacific Power also had a float in the parade that tends to be one of the most elaborate. The linemen and other staff members decorate the company’s truck for the parade.

Shelly Saunders, the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District’s Youth Programs Manager, has had the privilege of lighting the Christmas tree the past two years.

“I feel it’s an honor to get to stand there and watch all the kids react when the tree is lit,” she said. “Young and old, everybody has a sense of wonder.”

The preschool she directs, The Learning Ladder, also participated in the parade for the first time this year. The students will ride on the district’s bus, which will be decked out in a garland and other ornaments. According to Saunders, this will be a fitting experience for the students, as “the focus in the preschool has been about community and our place in it.”

In general, she added, the event encapsulates what to her is the essence of the holiday season — “family and being together.”

“There’s just a special magic to it,” she said. Having moved from a larger area four years ago and now being in a small town, she added, “it really is wonderful to see how strong this community is, and it’s amazing to see all these folks come out the day after Thanksgiving and come together as a community.”





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