I thought about this category a lot and decided that since we are still in transition our "local" traditions are still fluid so instead I am going to tell you about a holiday tradition of the locals. I have to say that these are from last year. I have just been so busy with 14-16 hour days since we go here and hit the ground running that I haven't been able to much in the new community. We did go see the "Messiah" by Handle at a local church and it was wonderful. I have noticed that the pageantry seems more a norm here in the city than when we lived in the country.
The Festival of Lights is now 20 years old and a great way to kick off the holiday season. It's ALL Volunteer and NON-Profit.
It began as a fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Club to help get the
city out of debt and then took on a life of its own and now helps with
scholarships and special projects. The festival runs every night from
Thanksgiving to New Years. You can drive your own car or take a horse
drawn carriage ride through the displays. They have also coordinated a
local radio station to listen to as you view the displays. The night we
went through the fog was moving in early so a few of the pictures look a
As of this year they have the world's tallest (41 feet, 16,000 pounds
with working jaw) nutcracker built by a local company, 500,00 lights,
90 animated displays, 3D displays, horse drawn carriage rides through
the displays and a Holiday Village with Santa, hot cider with a bake
sale and a synchronized light show in the courtyard. The displays
depict fairy tales, the military, patriotism, the local logging
industry, local vineyards, local fishing and the traditional Christmas
songs and scenes. People come from all over to see it. Unfortunately
for locals, it doesn't change much, but is still fun every few years.