A big-hearted parade offers old-fashioned fun
Last updated 11/29/2022 at Noon
“Macy’s has got nothing on you guys.”
So said Hank Young from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taking in his first-ever Sisters Holiday Parade. He was serious.
“I mean, that’s a commercial spectacle. This is a small community with big heart. Nobody’s showing off. Everybody’s plain havin’ fun, the old-fashioned way.”
Well, Macy’s it’s not, but it appeared that spectators and participants alike were having just as much fun as those New Yorkers.
“And a whole lot less stress,” said Young’s wife, Frances.
They were just passing through, headed from Bend en route to Bandon for golf.
Carlos Alvarado and Sonia Estrada from San Diego were also passing though. They are coffee freaks (their words, not ours) and were huddled at Sisters Coffee sampling when they realized they were trapped, their car parked on the parade route.
“So, we just watched,” Alvarado said. “You guys do this every year,” Estrada asked. “This is, like, very cool.”
They reminisced about how their grandparents talked about life in their little villages.
“It might have been like this, maybe,” they both wondered aloud, “all the villagers getting together to celebrate each other.”
“I haven’t seen a horse in, like, forever,” Estrada mused as several passed before them. “And the dogs pulling that little cart — that’s hilarious,” Alvarado laughed.
A number of visitors got caught in the parade, many of them snaking their way through town with Christmas trees atop their roofs or stretching out their pickup bed. (See story page 19).
It looked like half the locals were on hand for the fun. The day was picture-perfect. It was 57 degrees at start time, little to no wind, with an unobstructed sun beaming on beaming faces. The route stretched five blocks eastbound on Hood Avenue with the streets lined on both sides, although most were choosing the north side to absorb the sun’s rays.
The parade began in customary fashion, with the color guard provide by American Legion and Band of Brothers and a few dozen veterans from all branches. Twenty-six entrants in all ranged from kids, to dogs, to horses (and a mule).
The Sisters Science Club had challenging posters for spectators to test their STEM skills. The Corgi Express, a perennial favorite, was wonderfully cute, and a dozen or more Newfoundlands, large working dogs, got lots of “wows” — and food bill bets.
Hoodoo had folks pining for more snow. Other floats included Hayden Homes, who at the parade’s conclusion opened up their McKenzie Meadows Park so that Santa could meet a few hundred children. Hayden provided cookies and cocoa to parents and grandparents relishing the gesture.
Of course the big trucks were on the parade route, the ones little boys (and their dads) especially get carried away with. Mountain rescue, fire engines, paramedic units courtesy of Cloverdale and Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Districts, and Three Creeks Backcountry.
High Velocity Training, The Gallimaufry, Claudia’s Kitchenware, Skinner Welding, and High Desert Chocolates were commercial entrants.
Horses were a big hit. Equestrian Trails, the Sisters Rodeo, and Kalamataca Ranch showcased a number of equines, complete with a trailing pooper-scooper.
The best seats in the house were pickup trucks, nosed to the curb with tailgates open to the passing parade. Some had elaborate seating arrangements and most had a passel of kids or grandkids or dogs, or all three.
Everybody knew somebody. Friendly banter punctured thousands of holiday good wishes as treats flew from windows. The Batmobile was there, with Batman at the wheel and Batwoman tossing candy to joy-filled kids.
Nobody was in a rush to leave, many choosing to hang around and bask in the good times with their neighbors and friends. A fair number headed for shopping and local watering holes and coffee dispensaries to further the mood.
No, it wasn’t the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But SPRD – Sisters Park & Recreation District, the organizer, was the beneficiary of hundreds of kudos and a thousand-plus happy customers, who were thinking Sisters on November 26, 2022, was pretty darned special.