Marcus Larson/News-Register##Della Kiger happily presents Santa with her list of what she wants for Christmas.  Among them, a scooter, a pet cat, a pet rat and a yo-yo.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Della Kiger happily presents Santa with her list of what she wants for Christmas. Among them, a scooter, a pet cat, a pet rat and a yo-yo.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##A semi truck full of Christmas lights rolls down Third Street during the annual Christmas parade.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##A semi truck full of Christmas lights rolls down Third Street during the annual Christmas parade.
By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Mac makes Santa feel right at home

That didn’t stop attendees from lining up four and five deep, starting half an hour early, but it did guarantee they would break out the blankets, scarves and ear muffs. Many of the dogs accompanying their owners, particularly the smaller ones, sported warm sweaters of their own.

Restaurants, coffee shops and wine bars did a brisk business, both before and after the popular parade. The McMinnville Downtown Association handed out hot chocolate from a tent near the city Christmas tree, and it was also in high demand.

Angel Flores brought her granddaughters, 7-year-old Olivia and 6-year-old Abbey, to Third Street watch the parade for the first time. A friend sent her an invitation on Facebook, which triggered the visit.

Bundled in purple fleece blankets, the girls snuggled into folding chairs to wait for the fun to start.

“Some parades throw candy to us,” Olivia said. “Some parades give out stuffed animals,” Abbey added. “Sometimes they throw them,” Olivia noted.

The girls got both their wishes, as parade participants handed out small stuffed toys first, then distributed pieces of candy.

Maria and Juan Ioera stumbled onto the parade by accident when they decided to take their 5-year-old son, Daryan, out to eat Friday afternoon on Third Street.

“We saw everything, so we stayed,” Maria said. But she couldn’t help noting, “It’s really cold.”

She said she and her husband had recently moved from Salem, and were very pleased with their new home. “It seems like everyone knows each each other and there’s more to do than in the big city,” she said.

Daryan said he especially liked the loud music being played by some of the floats.

Moments after the McMinnville Christmas tree is lit, many families crowd around, taking selfies. // Marcus Larson/News-Register

The parade brought out a variety of groups showing their parade float decorating abilities, dancing, drumming and marching skills, and in the case of one group, enthusiasm for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Santa Claus, riding in a fire truck, brought up the rear of the parade. Once he had passed, the crowd began making its way toward City Park, its members huddled together on both sides of Adams Street to drink hot chocolate, sing Christmas carols and wait for Santa to light the tree.

Alicia Terra and her 8-year-old daughter, Kaylynn, hopped off the Recology float, which they had ridden in the parade, and joined the crowd. Kaylynn was still wearing her glittery red Rudolph nose paint.

They attend – or participate in – the parade almost every year, Alicia said. But this was the first time they’d stayed for the tree lighting.

Cups of cocoa helped to warm them up after their chilly ride.

The crowd had to make a couple of tries at shouting “Merry Christmas” loudly enough, but on the second round, the magic worked. The tree suddenly glowed with light, heralding the official start to Christmas in McMinnville.  

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