Even though the annual Hermiston Festival of Lights celebration is canceled this year, the parade will still occur.

In October, Festival of Lights committee members announced this year’s event, which includes a light display and activities at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds during the holiday season, was canceled because of a lack of volunteers. Organizer Spike Piersol said this week, however, he had so many people stopping in to relay their support for the event that the committee decided to go ahead and hold the parade. He said it also marks a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Karen Hutchinson-Talaski, executive director for the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center and Festival of Lights committee member, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon on behalf of the Festival of Lights committee.

The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 29. It will start at Newport Park, which is behind the Eastside Market in Hermiston, and continue down Main Street, cross Highway 395 and end at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds. Line-up for the parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Newport Park, between Newport Avenue and Sixth Street.

Hutchinson-Talaski said, in the past, there have been lighted floats, cars, all-terrain vehicles and more.

“It is a lot of fun,” she said. “We have had church groups come through with their animals. Anybody can enter.”

Piersol said the parade usually has anywhere from 10 to 25 entries, and that it would be nice to have even more this year.

The parade lasts approximately 15 minutes. Santa will also be featured in the parade.

Those interested in entering may contact Piersol at 541-571-5065.

“We are very excited to continue the lighted parade despite not being able to pull off the Festival of Lights this year,” Hutchinson-Talaski said.

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