This year’s holiday season kicked off in grand style on Saturday evening, Dec. 1, with the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting event.  

The streets of downtown were aglow with colorful lights and joyous throngs of people, braving the cold and the drizzle to show their support and holiday spirit as dozens of colorful floats drifted past, festooned with myriad sparkling lights.

Many local organizations participated in the parade, each vying to put on the most spectacular display of shimmering decorations and Christmas lights.

The police and fire departments were there, sporting a large inflatable snowman and a live Santa Clause in addition to their flashing light bars.  Utility trucks dazzled with nearly every square inch – from hood to bed to boom – brilliantly aglow with festive lights and holiday décor.

Horses trotted past, heads held high and their necks adorned with fragrant wreaths of fir and tinsel, representing a local equestrian club.  The youth in the local 4-H Club got in on the act, sporting goats and ponies similarly attired, with those leading them decked out in Santa hats.

From dune buggies to school buses, and tractors pulling trailers, nearly every type of transportation imaginable made an appearance. There were even dancers, marchers and beard-wearing gnomes.

Children lined the streets, squealing with delight as participants showered them with candy while their parents looked on, sipping hot chocolate against the chill and damp of the evening.

Many in the audience wore Santa hats and blinking lights outside their raincoats and umbrellas, while others huddled around a fire that blazed in a chiminea outside the local variety store.

Overall, the celebration was a resounding success, well attended and buzzing with festivity.

It was all thanks to the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce for putting on the show.