Lighted Truck Parade 2007

Last night marked the annual Christmas tree lighting and Lighted Truck Parade, although apparently we’re supposed to call it a “Holiday Lights Parade” now. At any rate, the Lighted Truck Parade is a pretty unique tradition; I haven’t heard of that many towns holding a parade dedicated to covering trucks with lights and cruising down Main Street. Like many things in Fort Bragg, the nature of the Lighted Truck Parade is changing; less logging trucks, more Priuses.

This is my favorite parade of the year. It’s always freezing cold, and it’s always awesome. I’m always out on Main Street, camera in hand; I think next year, I will get a tripod, as most of my shots came out pretty badly. I’m posting them here anyway, because I like to torture you with dim, blurry, poorly composed photographs of trucks covered in lights. (RSS readers, sorry, but you’ll have to click through for the goodies.)

Alas, the parade seemed pretty sad this year. No Rossis, no Harvest, no Roach Brothers, no giant house. The best float, by far, was Campbell Timberland Management, which decked a giant flatbed out with trees. A huge crew of Campbell foresters walked along with the float in full rig, handing out redwood trees to people to plant. Of course, most of those trees die, because people plant them in bad places and don’t take care of them, but it makes the company look good.

It was sort of depressing to watch the parade this year; I watched with Brendan and S, and while Brendan had seen the parade many times before, S hadn’t. So we got her all worked up and excited, and then the parade ended, and we looked at each other with expressions of sadness and puzzlement. I hope they pull it together again next year, because the Lighted Truck Parade just isn’t the same without the Roach Brothers reindeer orbiting Santa.

I think my favorite entry this year for sheer balls was Campbell Timber, with their “The Candy Cane Forest: Wood is Sweet” banner, which caused me to burst into laughter and spook the Advocate-News reporter. I also enjoyed Waste Management, which brought a giant truck which might have been filled with garbage, by the smell of things. Fort Bragg Rentall’s disco party was pretty sweet, and I have to give some props to Fort Bragg Electric, but other than that, it was a pretty weak parade.

I’ve noticed a general state of parade disappointment this year, which is rather annoying, since the parades were one of the reasons I moved home. (I’m serious here, people, our parades were just that good.) What I enjoy about parades is the observing, not the participating, although I have made some 4 July cameos. So I guess what I’m saying is this: Fort Bragg, don’t make me make a parade entry, because you will regret it. This is your final warning. One more mediocre parade, and I’m busting out the big guns.

And we all know it won’t be pretty.