The evening kick-off to the holiday season will feature some new attractions

Local residents can soon get a jump on the holiday season as the annual Lighted Christmas Parade returns to Prineville.

The evening parade will take place Saturday, Nov. 30, and will once again feature a procession of floats adorned with Christmas lights and decor. But people can expect some changes this year, and there is also a twist to the parade.

The festivities will begin with a tree lighting on the Crook County Courthouse lawn. The parade will follow, with floats starting at Harwood Street and following Third Street toward downtown.

However, once the floats reach Fairview Street, they are invited to turn the corner and travel north toward the Crook County Fairgrounds. There, Christmas in the Pines awaits along with an opportunity to visit with Santa Claus at the old school house.

Christmas in the Pines, new to Prineville this year, is a drive-through attraction that will feature a variety of Christmas light displays that people can view as they follow a loop through the fairgrounds.

“This is the first year for Christmas in the Pines,” said Holli Van Wert, Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce director, “so we decided to partner (with it) this year.”

Van Wert went on to clarify that they are not asking parade viewers to line up on Fairview, but rather follow the floats to the fairgrounds.

“Ultimately, in the end, the hope is that the people who build the floats will want to take them there and plug them in,” she said. “What we are trying to do is get everybody to the fairgrounds.”

John Hite, of the local band Countryfied, will be stationed on Court Street, serving as the parade announcer with Christmas music in the background. Awards will be given out later at the fairgrounds.

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