For the fifth year, the Banks Annual Christmas Light Parade is coming back Saturday, December 16 starting at 6 p.m.
Held since 2019 in some form or another (one year saw a “reverse parade” thanks to COVID; the floats were stationary, attendees drove past the floats), the lighted parade follows the same route as the Banks BBQ parade from Banks Hardware to Sunset Park.
The committee that spearheads the event, which, as of this story, includes Kathy Fitzpatrick, Penni Carmin, Kim and Jim Cason and Ryan Weaver, have established several rules for the parade, but one that stands out involves a monopoly on Santa:
“As there is only ONE Santa, there is only ONE Santa in the parade provided by the parade committee,” a document outlining parade rules reads. In other words, leave your Santa costume at ho-ho-home.
While floats with facsimiles of Santa—blow-up homages, pictures, and the like—are welcome, there’s only one flesh-and-blood Santa Claus allowed, invited by the committee. Behind the American and Oregon flag, he leads the parade, drawn, in this case, not by his trusty reindeer steeds, but carried atop a Banks Fire District Utility Terrain Vehicle, if last year’s arrangement is repeated.
And behind him will come dozens of lighted holiday floats from local businesses, organizations, governments, and families, all lit with festive holiday lights..
The barrier to entry is fairly low; through December 9, participants can sign up to be in the parade the float by filling out this form and this form and mailing it along with a check for $20 to the Banks Chamber of Commerce.
While there had been hopes to allow animals in this year’s parade, that won’t be the case, according to event organizers. A parade form notes that safety and insurance issues prohibit their entry.
All floats must be lit, including dancers or walkers in the parade.
Business that wish to sponsor the parade can do so for $200, which includes a business logo placed on a float at the start of the parade, “plus the knowledge that you are helping to continue this fun holiday event,” the chamber, which is partnering with the committee to hold the parade, said in an email to members.