Christmas Lighting Ceremony

Parked on the corner of Fifth and Foster, under the black, fall sky. Umbrellas cover the tops of our heads as we follow the broken sidewalk concrete, leading us to downtown Coeur d'Alene, for the annual "Christmas Lighting Ceremony".

Sherman Avenue, wet with rain, is void of cars. Foot traffic is the way of travel for those of us that brave the cold rain and night air. 39°F. Naked trees, covered in Christmas lights, line the street. People talk and laugh. Chattering teeth break up dialog.

We find an open spot to stand and wait. The promise of the Christmas parade begins, starting with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, then the Idaho State Police. School marching bands. Local businesses. Waving hands. "Merry Christmas" on the lips of those walking by.

The end of the parade quickly comes. We join the crowd of people and make our way down to City Park. Candles handed out. "Silent Night" begins and ends. Fireworks. The Christmas season has begun in North Idaho.


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