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The tree-lighting and extended community parade is coming up next Thursday, Dec. 6.

FILE PHOTO - Residents are encouraged to decorate their vehicles for the Jingle Thru North Plains community parade.This time of year in North Plains, it's all about the holiday spirit. The North Plains Events Association is holding the 14th annual Jingle Thru North Plains, a beloved community parade, on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Mayor Teri Lenahan is looking forward to the parade, which she will be leading out of Jessie Mays Community Park after about 6:30 p.m.

"It brings people together in the spirit of Christmas and the holidays," Lenahan said. "It's a feel-good community event."

North Plains will also bring its Christmas tree to life before the parade. Lenahan said she will light up the tree at 6:15 p.m., and then the parade will start to get underway.

This year's parade still begins and ends at Jessie Mays Community Park, as usual, but the route is changing this year. Lenahan said the parade will likely last about 30 to 35 minutes.

"We're going to try to include a few newer subdivisions in our community (and) make it a little bit longer than it usually is," Lenahan said.

North Plains is rapidly growing, adding about 1,000 new residents within the past few years — effectively increasing in size by half again. Events like Jingle Thru North Plains, and the Elephant Garlic Festival during the summer, are vital to keeping a sense of community and continuity as the small city expands.

The parade itself is open for anyone with a decorated vehicle — "anything that moves," as the Events Association states — to enter. Trucks, trailers, cars, golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles are all eligible. The parade typically moves at about 10 mph, according to the association.

"It's fun and festive. We want to encourage people to decorate their cars and trucks and come," Lenahan said.

Participants can register on the night of the parade.

At the end of the parade, an award will be bestowed for the best decorated vehicle. Homes and businesses that have lights up by 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, will also be judged, and winners will be announced after the parade.

Also following the parade, the Dickens Carolers will serenade attendees with holiday carols at the Jessie Mays Community Center.

For those who want to come out to the event but don't want to be in the parade, Santa Claus will be entertaining children and available for photos at the Jessie Mays Community Center starting at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served as well, courtesy of Loch Lolly Christmas Forest, the North Plains Events Association and the City of North Plains.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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