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Idaho Enterprise

Light Parade kicks off Christmas season!

Stuffed animals were distributed by the big guy himself during the bonfire.

The annual Christmas Light Parade made its way through town last weekend, on a chilly night filled with sights, lights, and the warmth of friends and community.  The parade also kicked off the beginning of the light display program at the City Park, and a series of new downtown window displays.

The parade, featuring over twenty entries, wound its way through the downtown area past those braving the cold.  The brightly lit decorated vehicles and floats included a number of snowmen, reindeer, and even santas.  The parade is the sixth annual Spirit of Christmas Light Parade, sponsored by the Malad Volunteer Firemen.  Businesses, individuals, and organizations all took part in the festive tour around town, which ended at the Fire station and a welcome bonfire.  As the crowd grew around the fire, hot cocoa and baked goods were on offer in the slightly warmer bay.  Santa Claus made a visit on behalf of the Oneida Crisis Center, distributing stuffed animals to all who asked for them.

The capper for the night was an amazing winter fireworks display.  As the colors from above reflected off the new snow, adults and kids alike thrilled to the fantastic show.

At the conclusion of the fireworks, a more terrestrial show started at the city park.  For the second year in a row, Malad City Park is hosting a music and light show designed by Brad Coleman, programmed by Melanie Coleman, and set up with the help of JP and Justin Wittman, Colton Cox, and Quinn Eliason.  ATC donated Eliason’s time and a bucket lift to help put up the “mega tree” at the center of the display, which made the process a lot easier than last year, according to Melanie.

The show is a little different than last year, with a new set of songs, new light routines, and some additional light elements.  New snowflakes add another layer of visuals to the lights.  A screen hanging at the pavilion again displays pictures from locals featuring their Christmas scenes.  “At first I had to beg people for them, and then I ended up with way too many!” Coleman said.  

Although many people requested that the display use the same songs as last year, the Colemans ultimately decided that “new is good, too” and changed the musical accompaniment.  The songs range from the devotional (“Away in a Manger”), classic (“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”), and popular (“Christmas Every Day”).  The potential for a “Thowback Night” with last year’s program is still a possibility.  

The light show will run at the city park every night from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. through Christmas.  Melanie hopes that the show will be able to run through New Years, but is keeping an eye on the weather.  “Taking this down under a lot of snow would not be fun,” Coleman said.  The light show is a great activity for families.  Visitors can sit in the warmth of their vehicles and enjoy a world-class treat.

Despite the urge to keep adding to the show in the upcoming years, for the present the Colemans plan to continue with a version of the current setup.  “We’ll change songs, of course, but otherwise we’re good with where it’s at.”

The Co-op Christmas window displays are also installed for the season and bringing the sights of the season to downtown.  Windows have been worked on since Halloween, with a dedicated crew of volunteers working to make the displays unique and special.  Chris Jensen, Becky Cox, Heather Corbridge, and Melanie Coleman have all worked untold hours to bring the cozy spectacle to fruition.  Other than some funds contributed by the city, the work is all volunteer.  “It takes hundreds of hours to get this ready.  I basically lived at the co-op for a few weeks in a row,” Coleman said.  Most of the props and fixtures used in the displays were created by the crew, and a lot of them are made from simple materials such as cardboard.  “We try to recycle as much as we can from year to year but change it up to be new.”  The displays include a number of intricate Christmas scenes, including Mrs. Claus at home, Santa on a rooftop, reindeer, and more.

Melanie and Brad Coleman are currently the Volunteers of the Year for Malad City, and their efforts on behalf of adding beauty and fun to the community show why they deserve the recognition!   

Next Monday, the Oneida Interfaith Council will present a Live Nativity behind the Presbyterian Church, just up the hill from the co-op.  The nativity is free for everyone, and includes live actors and animals to aid in telling of the miraculous birth in song and story.  Refreshments will be served throughout the event.  The program will repeat every half hour from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The 102nd annual Fireman’s Ball will be held at the Event Center at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 2.  The event will feature live music from the Rough Stock Band, a raffle for a number of great prizes, and the chance for a night out dancing. 

The Enterprise Christmas Party will also be held at the Event Center, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on December 7.  Santa will make an appearance at around 7:00 p.m.  Walking tacos and hot dogs will be served, and prizes will be drawn from the coloring contest entries submitted by kids from all around the county.  Based on the number of entries turned in, there should be a big crowd on hand for the big day, so plan to come down and have a great time!

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