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Heck with Halloween: Here comes Christmas!

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | October 31, 2021 1:08 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is back to normal in North Idaho.

The Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association is going ahead with its 29th Annual Lighting Ceremony Parade on Nov. 26. It will be followed by The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s annual lighting ceremony.

Both were canceled last year due to the coronavirus.

Emily Boyd, executive director of the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association, said there's already been a lot of excitement and inquiries about the popular parade that packs thousands of people on Sherman Avenue the day after Thanksgiving.

Marching bands, dancers, musicians, reindeer, snowmen and one Santa Claus are expected to be in the lineup.

Boyd said it’s wonderful to have the parade and the lighting ceremony back, as both get folks into the holiday spirit.

“It’s a great family event and it brings everyone together, which is so needed in our community,” Boyd said.

The association is accepting applications for the parade, sponsored by Idaho Central Credit Union, which attracts about 40 entries each year. The theme is Holiday Heroes and Festive Figures — “all those fun characters that people love,” Boyd said.

“Plan your parade entry around beloved characters such as heroes like Superman and Disney princesses, or traditional figures like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph,” the application form reads. “Use your creativity to dress up your group, decorate your vehicle or float and express your joy for the holidays.”

“The floats should be extra festive,” Boyd said.

Applications to participate in the parade will be accepted through Nov. 15. They should be submitted by mail to Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association, 105 N. 1st Street, Suite 100, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.

Boyd said organizers are following health guidelines in light of COVID, as recommended by health and government officials.

After the parade, the public is welcome to gather on The Coeur d’Alene Resort lawn for carols and a countdown to a spectacular fireworks display, compliments of the Hagadone Corporation. At the end of the show, the switch is flipped and over 1.5 million lights brighten the downtown area.

"I think that the lighting ceremony is one of the most magical days in Coeur d’Alene,” Boyd said.

Also during the holiday shopping season, Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association will bring back its popular Elf on a Shelf program Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The sponsor is STCU.

“Keep your eyes peeled for one of the dozens of Coeur d’Alene Scout Elves hiding throughout the downtown corridor and you could win prizes from Santa himself,” according to the association.

Live elves will also be making the rounds on Saturdays through downtown, handing out candy canes and posing with kids for pictures.

Each Saturday in December will include a different theme, with colorful characters like Elsa and Olaf in The Coeur d’Alene Resort Plaza Shops.

Together, it all adds up to a merry Christmas.

“It just creates a really fun holiday atmosphere,” Boyd said. “It adds to the magic.”

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