The parade had a little bit of everything.
Trucks hauling trailers covered in lights. Vintage cars tooting their horns. The “Mystery Machine” from the indefatigable Scooby Doo franchise. Girl Scouts dressed up as Christmas presents with signs reminding the public that cookie season is just around the corner. People in Victorian garb hauling a giant Lego figure.
Plus, a surplus of Santas from the ABC House’s “Runaway Santa Run,” which took place in downtown Albany shortly before the parade. Smiling people tossing candy to kids. Horses hauling wagons. Toddlers squealing in delight at the passing of Caesar the No Drama Llama. And to cap it all off, Santa riding on a vintage fire engine.
And then, they do it all again.
The Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade organized by the Albany Downtown Association featured 33 entrants Sunday evening in an annual holiday tradition that dates back two decades. The parade, in which entrants circle the route twice, spanned multiple downtown Albany blocks.
Lonna Capaci, an ADA member who helped with organizing the parade, said the parade and other downtown holiday events like Small Business Saturday really help get the holiday season started.
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“It gets you in the spirit of the season,” she said.
She added that this year the parade had 10 more entrants than last year, and said it’s kind of a small-town version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, with all the floats leading up to Santa at the end.
“It’s a fun tradition,” she said.
Cailan Darling, a West Albany High School freshman whose mom Hannah Darling organized the parade this year, said she’s seen the parade each year since she moved to Albany when she was in elementary school and she started volunteering with her mom at the event last year.
“It’s pretty cool to see it growing up and then to be a part of it,” she said.
She said the parade means a lot to the community.
“It’s a lot like the Veterans Day Parade; it’s great way to bring the community together,” she said.
Anthony Rimel covers education and crime in Benton County and weekend events across the Mid-Valley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-812-6091.