As the Powell ChristmasFest Lighted Parade headed north on the city’s main business thoroughfare, you could see the joy in the faces of children lining the route, hoping for some fantastic …
As the Powell ChristmasFest Lighted Parade headed north on the city’s main business thoroughfare, you could see the joy in the faces of children lining the route, hoping for some fantastic views and a heaping helping of sweets.
More than two dozen entries, from Off the Grid 4-H club rams and ponies to classic automobiles and giant industrial trucks pulling Christmas-themed floats, thrilled more than 2,000 onlookers. Restaurants were packed as patrons jockeyed for window seats, most stores remained open for shoppers and businesses joined in the fun by decorating for the holiday celebration.
“It was like the Fourth of July for the kids, but without all the noise,” said Vicki Taylor, executive assistant for Powell Economic Partnership/Powell Chamber/Powell Visitor Center, which sponsored the parade.
The competition was fierce among the 29 entries vying for Powell Bucks. But the real value for the businesses, clubs and city services was valuable free advertising and, most importantly, bragging rights.
Ryno Performance took home the top prize of $75 with multiple ATVs and UTVs covered with thousands of lights and filled with costumed operators. Garland Light and Power finished in second place by the slimmest of margins for the $50 check with a fun and festive float featuring linemen on power poles decorated like Christmas trees. Heart Mountain Hearing’s antique firetruck, glowing with lights and driven by Chris Pelletier, finished in third place for the $25 check.
Entry is free for the annual parade, Taylor said, and offers companies, clubs and the occasional political campaign exposure to area residents and visitors during the important season.
Winter is a magical time to enjoy Powell's small-town cozy atmosphere, enjoy holiday shopping and decorating, according to the Powell Economic Partnership. This year’s festival included an Eggnog Crawl, Cocoa and Caroling in the Enchanted Forest at Plaza Diane and hands-on crafts at Santa’s Workshop.
Santa wasn’t the only celebrity at the festival. Snoopy and Charlie Brown thumbed a ride in Paul Basile’s fabulous 1929 Ford Model A, the Grinch was seen operating a UTV (though it’s unclear if he is a licensed driver) and Gunner, Powell’s friendliest and most eager husky co-pilot, Jim and Joann Cross’ 1959 Chevy.