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Welcome Christmas

by HANNAH NEFF/Staff Writer
| November 27, 2021 1:09 AM

COEUR d’ALENE - Christmas magic.

That’s what the parade, fireworks and 1.5 million lights brought to Coeur d’Alene Friday night.

“The kids love the parade,” said Sam Symons of Coeur d’Alene. “We always come in for the kids.”

Thousands of people lined Sherman Avenue downtown for the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade followed by The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s annual lighting ceremony.

Last year’s ceremony had to be canceled due to COVID-19, so people were extra ready to celebrate the start of the holidays.

Kids shouted “Merry Christmas” and waved with smiles upon their faces.

The year’s theme was Holiday Heroes and Festive Figures sponsored by Idaho Central Credit Union with 30 entries from floats to a marching band to dancers to horses.

“It was fabulous,” said Verna Curry of Athol, part of the Red Hot Mamas who danced their way down Sherman Avenue. “You see the smiles of the kids and you hear the laughter and that's exactly what Christmas is about.”

Curry was decked out in a Christmas costume complete with blinking Christmas lights and a walker.

“They call me Mrs. Claus,” Curry said laughing. “The best part of it for me is what I receive, the love and the laughter and the appreciation and that's what fuels my energy.”

After the parade, people flocked to The Coeur d’Alene Resort lawn for carols and a fireworks display, compliments of the Hagadone Corporation.

The shouts quieted down as the crowd sang "Silent Night," candles in hand.

Then, "Boom!"

With 3,400 effects throughout, Hagadone Corporation CEO and chairman Brad Hagadone said the fireworks would be so big this year that the late Duane Hagadone would hear them from Heaven.

Duane B. Hagadone, the founder of The Hagadone Corporation, passed away on April 24, and son Brad Hagadone said the year’s show had a little extra magic to celebrate his life.

After the fireworks, the switch was flipped and over 1.5 million lights brightened downtown to complete the Christmas picture, with icons such as Santa Claus and Rudolph.

This year’s guest of honor to lead the light switch countdown was Lori Lougheed, an almost 40 year employee of the Hagadone Corporation.

“This special event not only represents the kick-off to the holidays, but also displays the sense of togetherness our lakeside town encompasses," she said.

Allison Benton of California, who came up to the area to visit family, said it was a fantastic celebration.

“The whole shebang, everyone being out here too, was just awesome," she said.

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BILL BULEY/Press

The Lake City High School band performs during the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade on Sherman Avenue Friday night.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Josh Wuest and sons Carson, center, and Blake wave to the crowd during the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade on Sherman Avenue Friday night.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Mrs Idaho Marie Widmyer and Miss Idaho Tiffani Bartel wave to the crowd during the parade Friday night on Sherman Avenue.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Carol Cook, left, with Maggie, and Sharon Philliber with Molly, walk with the rest of the Coeur d'Alene Dog Fanciers in the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade Friday night on Sherman Avenue.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Santa waves during the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade Friday night on Sherman Avenue.

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BILL BULEY/Press

People hold candles and sing "Silent Night" at The Coeur d'Alene Resort's lighting ceremony Friday night. From left, Katy, Brianna, Stephanie and Lizzie Salmeri.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Hagadone Corporation headquarters and The Coeur d'Alene Resort shine bright at the resort's lighting ceremony Friday.

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Sparky the Fire Dog greets kids during the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade Friday night on Sherman Avenue.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Adults and kids lined the streets for the 29th annual Lighting Ceremony Parade Friday night on Sherman Avenue.

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BILL BULEY/Press

Fireworks rise up over Lake Coeur d'Alene to cap The Coeur d'Alene Resort's lighting ceremony Friday =.

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Photo by Clint Schroeder Fireworks explode over Lake Coeur d'Alene Friday night as part of The Coeur d'Alene Resort's lighting ceremony.

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Photo by Clint Schroeder People hold up their phone flashlights during The Coeur d'Alene Resort's lighting ceremony Friday.

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