Holiday lights happen Friday

 RED BOWS help set the stage for the annual lighting of the Christmas tree.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
RED BOWS help set the stage for the annual lighting of the Christmas tree.

The season’s first snow last week postponed the Hood River Downtown Tree Lighting Celebration and related events, but they are a go for Dec. 13, starting at 5 p.m., with the parade at 6.

The schedule of events is the same; the postponement does give the public more time to plan their parade entries, as well as to plan to bring donated items to help the needy (full schedule, A5).

City Public Works Director Mark Lago said his office, the police and the Chamber made the decision to postpone on Dec. 6. It was the first time in memory that snow fell on the same day as the tree lighting, and Lago said streets downtown were slick — particularly the hills directly surrounding the staging area, between Sixth and Ninth streets.

“We felt it was a case of ‘safety first,’” Lago said.

As it happened, the snow on Dec. 6 prevented Hollywood Lights, the company in charge of turning on the tree lights, from traveling to Hood River, according to Lago.

One thing to keep in mind for Friday, parade entrants: the Chamber of Commerce asks people to avoid Santa themes, as the Big Elf in the Red Suit is already planning to make a special appearance.

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Yachts parade Dec. 14

The Hood River Yacht Club’s lighted boat parade has been rescheduled for Dec. 14. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the party and awards to follow at the HRYC clubhouse at 8 p.m. Anyone may turn out to watch the boat parade. Viewing points include the marine parking lot and marina breakwater, or Best Western Hood River Inn.

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Here is the schedule for Friday’s activities:

n 4 p.m. — Free parking downtown .

n 5-6 p.m. Window Walk, of businesses enrolled in holiday decoration contest.

n 6 p.m. — Parade begins on Oak Street and goes through downtown Hood River. Anyone may participate; gather on Oak near Sixth. The parade disbands at Hood River News parking lot, Sixth and State.

Immediately following the parade will be tree lighting on State and Second streets; Mayor Arthur Babitz will do the honors.

n 7:15 p.m. — Caroling on Oak and Second streets: professional singers will help lead everyone in caroling, and newly printed songbooks will be provided.

Free cocoa, cookies, and juice will be served, and anyone may write a holiday wish and tie it on the tree.

Bring a canned food donation for FISH food bank or a hat, gloves, coat, blanket or sleeping bag for the Hood River Warming Shelter; give it to one of the elves, and receive a candy cane.

Shops and restaurants will remain open after the parade, many of them participating in the downtown window display contest.

n Visit Santa at G. Williker’s after the parade.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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