Lighting Ceremony

20°F. The sun drops into the waiting horizon; a purple sky turns black. Cement sidewalks soon greet cold travelers for the Annual Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks in downtown Coeur d'Alene, which begins the Christmas season.

Dressed in layers and perusing the shops, we wait as people line the street. Outside, we walk while warm, white Christmas lights illuminate the frigid night. Vapored breath rises upward as the evening's chilled fingers takes hold and refuses to let go. The parade begins with first responders leading the charge. Rival high schools' marching bands, the Red Hot Mamas, and others walk and dance; onlookers groove to a cacophony of musical assortments.

Once done, the mass of frozen souls moves as one to the front lawn of the Resort for the fireworks show that follows. Overhead, the first aerial mortar explodes, leaving a brilliant display of fiery color that streaks across the sky. A thousand eyes take in the sights as a thousand ears listen to the percussion.

The last of the fire flowers explode; the promise of leftover pumpkin cheesecake and hot coffee welcomes us home.

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