Banks, COMMUNITY, News

Annual Banks Christmas Light Parade moved to Sunday, December 11

The 4th Annual Banks Christmas Parade has been moved from Saturday, December 10 to Sunday, December 11 at 6 p.m., parade organizers confirmed Friday. 

Launched in 2019, the parade, planned and run by a committee of community organizers with the aid of other community groups, will follow the same route as the annual Banks BBQ parade held every August, starting between Banks Hardware and Bighorn Logging and heading down Main Street to Sunset Park’s first driveway on the right.

In 2020, concerns over people gathering during the height of the 2020 winter surge of the coronavirus forced a change of venue and format for what was then the second instance of the lighted parade. Instead of parade floats drifting past attendees, the floats were stationary while, siloed in cars, participants drove past the lighted floats at Sunset Park. The parade returned to a regular parade format in 2021. 

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this causes and hope you will still be able to join us,” the organizers said in a social media post Friday.

Parade-goers can expect lighted floats, Santa himself, and more during the event. There’s only one Santa expected to attend, though. 

“Inflatable and decorative Santa figurines are allowed but, there is only ONE REAL Santa, and they are authorized by the parade committee,” a form for prospective parade float entries read. 

In fact, it’s not too late for businesses and organizations to fill that parade form out and join the fun, Banks Annual Christmas Light Parade Committee member Marsha Kirk told the Banks Post in an email. 

Kirk’s role on the committee is unrelated to her position on the Banks City Council.

While the original deadline to join the parade was December 7, that deadline has been moved to December 8 thanks to the parade date change. 

Those interested should fill out this form and drop it off at the Be Joyful Salon and Boutique in Banks at 13980 NW Main Street.

Officially, the parade is hosted by the Banks Chamber of Commerce, who are providing their name and support for insurance purposes and to collect the $20 fee to enter a float into the parade. The chamber also put forward $200 as a sponsor for the event. 

Also supporting the parade to the tune of $200 each are the Banks Fire District, Five Star Plumbing, Five Star Builders, and Welcome Home Realty, Kirk said. 

Other government entities have had a hand in moving the parade date, including the city of Banks, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Banks School District, and the Banks Fire District (Main Street doubles as State Highway 47). 

The last minute date change came after a flurry of behind the scenes activity stemming from concerns from the city of Banks and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office over several Banks School District activities in the city expected to be held Saturday. With the date moved to Sunday, those concerns are addressed, and the sheriff’s office will be able to supply staff for traffic control purposes.

“We have home basketball games on Saturday night. Boys and Girls will be playing at home, and that is essentially 5 basketball games between 3 and 8 pm,” Banks High School Principal Jacob Pence said in an email to the Banks Post. “There is also a school play on Saturday and Sunday,” Pence said, noting that the play—tickets are $5, with showtimes at 7 p.m. on December 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. on December 11—should no longer be a conflicting traffic concern with the production. 

BHS teacher Madalyn Hatcher, who heads the Banks High School Drama Department described the play, “Ax of Murder,” as a “hilarious murder mystery with lots of twists,” in a social media post. 
The full basketball schedule can be seen online here.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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