Guerneville to be awash in holiday revelry and good will
Please be advised that the Light Parade has been postponed until Saturday, December 8.
Guerneville and environs are cheerfully preparing for our town’s annual holiday extravaganza, and one of the Chamber’s goals is to make each year more spectacular and more over-the-top than the last.
Extravaganza, an Italian word first used in 1754, refers to something extravagant. In other words, exceeding the limits of reason or necessity, lacking in moderation, balance, and restraint or excessively elaborate.
And if any town’s citizens can come up with a program that fits this definition, it’s the passionate, generous and fun-loving glitterati of Guerneville and its neighboring villages and hamlets.
Of course our budget and population doesn’t match those of Paris, New York, or London, but then it’s not abuzz with zombie-like crowds consumed by consumerism, steaming with stress and slogging through mountains of slush either. Like the baby bear’s porridge in Goldilocks, Guerneville’s party is not too cold and not too hot – it’s just right.
This then is the 12th annual such local events schedule in brief:
5 to 9 p.m., Thursday, November 29:
Merchant Open House and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Enjoy terrific hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, full-immersion shopping, and joyful Caroling all along Main Street and the mysterious alleyways and sides streets that spice up our not-too-urban landscape. Not to single anyone out, but Kings Bait and Tackle on the north side of Main always seems to come up with exotic and unusual treats that may be well worth looking (or biting) into.
Santa and Mrs.Claus consider the West County one of their favorite retreats and as such they’re looking to have their picture taken with as many locals as possible so they can show them off to the elves when they get home. For them it’s not so much “Who is that freckled little pig-tailed redhead with Santa?” as “Who is that bearded, over dressed chubby guy with his arm around Marylou?” For picture-taking visit Guerneville Parcel Box Plus. Those who catch the spirit will buck the snow drifts at the Town Plaza for the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30pm. You can expect a few celebratory tunes to be aired and since you’ll know the words to most of them, feel free to join in. This year’s tree was generously provided by Karen O’Brien and Naveed Haneef of the newly renovated West Sonoma Inn and Spa on Brookside Lane just east of Guerneville.
6 to 9 p.m., Friday, November 30 (Dinner and Crowning Ceremony)
This year’s Holiday Parade of Lights will showcase a prince/princess and their court and the winner will be chosen based on how many raffle tickets they sell, their posters, community involvement, sportsmanship and behavior. As an added incentive, Community First Credit Union is offering a $300 CD to the winner and all contestants get to keep 10% of their raffle
sales revenue. As Mel Brooks and Tom Petty remind us, “It’s good to be the King (or Queen)!”
The Contest and Raffle have been ongoing for several days now and the winner will first receive cheers and accolades at the parade before dinner and a crowning ceremony at Chef Patrick’s on Main Street on November 30. For dinner reservations or more information, please call the Chamber office at 869-9000. Dinner R.S.V.P.s must be in by Monday, November 26.
Raffle tickets at $1 each, are available at sponsoring businesses, and help to support the Parade of Lights and Holiday Extravaganza.
7 p.m., Saturday, December 8
The 12th annual Parade of Lights, much safer and less scary for pooches than fireworks and things that go bang, will overwhelm our not-so-humble village with consumate joy and good will, and each year the floats seem to get more numerous and more spectacular. The parade is always dazzling and loaded with your friends, neighbors, merchants, schools and service organizations, and helps everyone wake up feeling happier the next morning. It has never snowed and rarely rains during the parade, and if you don’t run into people you know, we’ll guess you’re visiting from Saturn or Pluto. Almost anyone who wishes to be part of the parade may register or find someone you know, who already has. Last year a vintage fire truck (allegedly) ran out of gas in front of the reviewing stand and the judges couldn’t decide whether there was a problem or the driver just wanted everyone to have a REALLY good look.There are several float categories and there are winners declared for each one.
Much to do, much to see, munch. imbibe and celebrate, many tunes to sing, hugs to be exchanged, an ocean of happy faces and good will wrapped up in just a few days, and you’re still left with three weeks to prepare for Christmas. Aren’t you glad you live on the River?
All photos: Stephen D. Gross