Allison Stormo has been an editor, writer and designer at newspapers throughout the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. She is a former Tri-City Herald news editor, and recently has returned to the newsroom.
Pandemic won’t stop these annual Tri-Cities holiday events
Tri-Citians will once again be able to enjoy two Tri-Cities Christmas holiday traditions that date back to the 1960s.
Both can be viewed from the socially-distanced safety of a car like they have been for decades. And they start this weekend.
A light boat parade along the Columbia River launches Friday, Dec. 4, and the decorated yards of Christmas Carol Lane in Kennewick will be ready for viewing starting Saturday, Dec. 5.
The Clover Island Yacht Club called off its official parade for 2020 because the U.S. Coast Guard and sheriff’s office were too short staffed to provide the safety support.
But parade organizer Kent McCue said that didn’t stop a group of boat owners from coming together to continue the tradition started in 1964.
About 10 lighted boats will set sail at 6 p.m. Friday and again on Saturday.
The parade starts under the cable bridge at Clover Island, travels up the river on the Kennewick side to Howard Amon Park in Richland, where the boats turn around about 7:30 p.m. to make the return trip. The parade lands at Clover Island Marina about 9 p.m.
Christmas Carol Lane
Every night at 6 p.m. starting Dec. 5, nearly 80 homes in a Kennewick neighborhood will light up their houses for the public.
The area is between West 23rd and 26th Avenues and South Kent and Garfield streets.
Each participating house is assigned a Christmas holiday-themed song and families decorate accordingly. Passers-by can sing or find the music to play along with it.
“We used to have a tape recorder in front of the house,” said Debie Britton who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1980s. “But when you hear the same song over 400 times it gets a bit old.”
Instead, this year a website has been created where you can find links to playlists to go with the homes on Pandora and Spotify at christmascarollane.org.
COVID has forced the cancellation of many things this year, but several other Tri-City holiday traditions will go on, even with some changes.
Living Nativity: Hillspring Church at 1153 Gage Blvd. in Richland has created a virtual alternative to its traditional living nativity. One installment of a five-part movie series about the birth of Jesus will be shown each week at 10 a.m. during Sunday morning church services online or in person with reservations made on hillspringtc.org. Each installment will be posted on the Hillspring Church’s YouTube Channel, as well as the church’s Facebook page on Mondays. Part 1 has been posted.
Senske light show
Senske Services is continuing its annual light show for an 18th year. The Kennewick company has installed more than 500,000 lights on its property at 400 N. Quay St. for viewing from 5 p.m. to midnight each night through the month. Lights are synced with music, which can be heard on 90.3 FM. Selfie stations have been created throughout the display with disinfectant wipes available. Come with Santa letters — there is a drop box to leave them for the big guy. The company also is collecting donations for 2nd Harvest Tri-Cities.
Cable Bridge Run
Cable Bridge Run: The 42nd Annual Lampson Cable Bridge Run will be held virtually in addition to the in-person race. Options include 1 mile, 5K and 10K races. In-person runners can choose between Dec. 19 and 20 with start times being spread out for the safety of the participants. Virtual runners can run anytime from Dec. 17-23. Registration deadline is Dec. 13. To register and for more information, go to pasco-wa.gov.
Pasco Winter Fest
Pasco Winter Fest: The Pasco Parks and Recreation Department is offering a number of activities for their 2020 Winterfest.
- Dec. 5: A virutal-only Heritage tree lighting will be on the department’s Facebook page, PSC TV and the City of Pasco’s YouTube channel.
- Dec. 5-11: A scavenger hunt with locations posted daily on Pasco Recreation Services Facebook page.
- Dec. 9: A drive-thru holiday event with lights and Santa will be from 4:30 to 8:30 at Volunteer Park and Pasco City Hall on Third Avenue in downtown Pasco.
- Cinnamon ornaments: This holiday craft includes all the ingredients, supplies and instructions to make a classic ornament. Cost of each kit is $6 and can be picked up 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pasco City Hall from Dec. 7-11. To register, go to pascoparksandrec.com by Dec. 6.
- Holiday slime: A kit includes all the materials, instructions and storage container for Christmas-themed slime. Cost is $15. Pick up will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pasco City Hall from Dec. 7-11. To register, go to pascoparksandrec.com by Dec. 4.
- Letter from Santa: Give children the gift of a personal letter written from Santa at the North Pole. Registration includes a form to offer in Cost is $5 and letters will be mailed on Dec. 11. To register, go to pascoparksandrec.com by Dec. 4.
Steve Lee & Family Downtown Kennewick Hometown Holidays Celebration: The Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership has created a menu of fun stuff through December to celebrate the holidays in addition to lights being turned on throughout downtown until Jan. 16.
- Parade of Windows: Businesses in downtown Kennewick will be dressing up store fronts in festive decor for onlookers to stroll past. The window decorations will be on display Dec. 5 through Jan. 9. The map of participants will be available starting Dec. 4 at historickennewick.org.
- Girls Night Out: A special shopping night is 4 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 10-11. The downtown partnership will be selling shopping guides for $5 that include list of participating stores, a downtown map as well as coupons. Warrior Sisterhood will be selling gift bags and hosting a raffle to raise money for their nonprofit that supports women fighting cancer.
- Merry Little Christmas Village: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 12 the celebration will continue. A key to the city will be presented to Santa and Mrs. Claus at 12:30 at Flag Plaza, 204 W. Kennewick Ave. It will be live on the partnership’s Facebook page.
▪ Sunnyside’s Lighted Implement Parade: The parade which is touted as the oldest farm implement parade in the nation was canceled this year because of COVID.