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home : current news : current news December 11, 2017

11/28/2017 12:57:00 PM
Parade kicks off holiday celebration
Sisters’ annual Christmas Parade kicks off the season for locals and visitors. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Sisters’ annual Christmas Parade kicks off the season for locals and visitors. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

Even with the threat of rain, hundreds of folks, including the furry kind, came out in true Sisters style lining both sides of Hood Avenue on Saturday for the annual Sisters Christmas Parade.

Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce and Hayden Homes sponsored this year's parade, and the theme "Winter Wonderland" certainly described the combination of festive floats, fire trucks and amazing animals.

The Christmas parade had children and big folks applauding, laughing, and cheering.

It was hard to tell who had the most fun: the people in the parade or those lining the street watching it.

Children of all ages from youngsters to oldsters smiled and pointed and talked about their favorite entries.

"The winner in the parade for the theme Winter Wonderland goes to Sisters Park & Recreation District's flag football team, grades kindergarten through fourth grade," announced longtime emcee Bob Buckmann. "Sisters' flag football program is where it all starts for the younger Outlaws."

Sisters VFW Post 8138 and American Legion Post 86 kicked off the parade bearing the colors, followed by Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District, which has served the Sisters community for 80 years.

Jeanette Pilak, volunteer coordinator for Harmony Farm Sanctuary (HFS), and Cisco, a rescued mini horse that lives at HFS, followed behind the rustic trailer full of kids and HFS animals. Harmony Farm Sanctuary is a nonprofit built to create a safe place for rescued and rehabilitated animals with a forever home. Many of the animals serve as therapy for youth, teens, adults, and


"We want our community to see these animals and how happy they are and how they have a forever home at HFS," Pilak said. "They are the goodwill ambassadors for the sanctuary."

GW Campbell from Tumalo was having fun entertaining the spectators with trip roping along Hood Avenue.

"I founded the first cowboy church back in the 1970s at the Sisters Rodeo," he said. "The others are gone now so I'm still carrying the tradition of cowboy evangelist."

Campbell has made it to the Sisters Christmas Parade for the past 42 years.

Furry friends from all over Sisters enjoyed joining in the holiday festivities. The spectators cheered when Winterland Tail Waggers walked by with wagging tails. Some of the friendly canines are show dogs, working, rescue and therapy dogs and a few were in training. Faran, an eight-month-old golden retriever puppy was rescued from China, destined to be put down; he's now going through obedience and therapy training just like his older brother Griffin did. Both are owned by Jennifer Boley.

2017 Sisters Rodeo Queen Emylia Breckel and her horse Casper looked regal in their attire as they rode down the street.

"Sadly, this is our final outing as the 2017 royal court," Breckel said. "It's been an amazing summer and I wish I could be the queen again, but our time has come to a close. We love the community of Sisters and are so happy to be here and blessed to have been able to represent the city this past year."

Breckel served as the Deschutes County Rodeo Queen for 2017. She is a Mountain View High School and Baker Charter School graduate who hopes to pursue an education in the medical field.

Sisters residents and visitors had more special events to enjoy after the festivities of the parade on Hood Avenue.

Santa Claus made his way to the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center to meet and have his photo taken with enthusiastic kids of all ages.

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