Small Town Holiday
Although I often crave the cosmopolitan amenities of a big city, there's some things that small towns do best. Friday was the annual holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony in uptown Susanville. And, also an annual tradition, one of the coldest days on the calendar. But we didn't let something silly like single digit temperatures stop us mountain folk from having a little outdoor fun.
We arrived early while things were still being set up. Looks like a couple of families spent the day up in the mountains chopping down trees. You can still get permits to do it the old fashioned way, tromping around the local miles and miles of national forests.
Nothing to do with the event, this big rig rumbled through town and I thought the load of rolling irrigation wheels looked like sculpture.
People are starting to show up, booths and trees are popping up on the sidewalks. Before the night is through you'll probably be able to find free cookies, hot cider and cocoa every twenty feet or so.
This shop put out a veritable winter forest in front of their shop. (And inside, I didn't take a photo, but they had a REAL tree decorated and towering up at least twenty feet high into a building sky light!)
Darkness is falling and the street is closed off. Local dance troupes entertained the crowd. The teensy ones 3-5 years old were the most adorable but I couldn't get in to get a decent photo. These young ladies did a great job too. I hope they all had something warm to put on after the performance!
Here's someone getting a lift up for a better view of the entertainment. I liked the row of old building signs.
Here's Hubby acting silly with our friends Debbie and Dave who walked down in the cold to join us.
All the shops were open for business so you could pop in and out to get warm and find some holiday goodies for yourself or gift giving. Of course Santa was there so folks could get their picture taken with him. (There were, in fact, a plethora of Santas on every street corner and every float and vehicle in the parade, along with an "official Santa" at the finale.
The parade started out with this handsome guy. Poor fellow, the parade went UP the hill.
Now that's what I'M talking about - it's the Hogsfather float!
Even the garbage truck looked festive.
I like how this photo turned out, he peeled out just as I was about to shoot.
And who are these shady characters walking in the parade in dark black and purple? It's the 2009 Lassen Varsity Football Northeastern District Champions of course!!!! William is the black hoodie in the middle in the back just behind the wheel.
There were lots more floats, all moving perhaps quicker than they'd originally practiced because, HELLO, it was so cold, but finally the end of the parade arrived, Santa (the official one) on the back of the fire truck. He Ho Ho Ho'ed and waved and shouted for everyone to follow him up the hill to light the big tree at the top of town.
People fall in behind the fire truck, it's certainly warmer than standing on the sidewalk any longer.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo. Look how many people were braving the cold for some holiday fun! And this doesn't even capture all the people who walked past me and fanned out on either side.
Are you ready for the tree lighting? One.... two.... three......