'Tis the season for lighted parades

| 12/8/2005

The Northern California coast is home to several lighted parades geared toward big rigs.

Bedazzled onlookers will gather at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Humboldt County city of Eureka to watch a convoy of elaborately lit trucks.

“It’s been going on for more than 20 years and it started out with the truckers as a convoy,” radio announcer and parade coordinator Rod Allen told Land Line. “After it got bigger and bigger, we had to make it a parade.”

Allen expects about 70 entries this year. Although, some years, the trucks totaled more than 100.

“They’re huge and they’re all lit up. It’s just a really great Christmas show,” Allen said.

A modest $25 entry fee for trucks goes towards a Eureka area charity. This year the Trucker’s Christmas Parade will benefit the Eureka Discovery Museum . The parade usually generates close to $3,000 including corporate sponsorship.

There are also prizes. The Eureka parade awards $800 for first place and has prizes for the top-five trucks.

People wishing to enter or donate to the Trucker’s Christmas Parade can contact Allen at KEKA-FM radio, which is the chief sponsor, at (707) 442-5744.

A precursor to the Eureka spectacular is a smaller parade of 10-15 lighted entries in Fortuna , CA . This parade typically happens the evening before Eureka and kicks off this year at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, in Fortuna’s Redwood Village .

“We’ve had folks come from as far away as Fort Bragg ,” Cliff Chapman, executive director of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce said. “It’s pretty informal and there’s no entry fee.”

Redding and Red Bluff also have lighted parades on the California coast. Ferndale , a Humboldt County city, does a similar lighted parade with only tractors.

– By David Tanner, staff writer