Oregon's winter weather is never predictable, but Lebanon kicked off the holiday season with a Christmas parade, and Holidays in the Park during a rainy day.

If the weather wasn't a certainty, one thing is certain now: Christmas time has arrived. That fact was made very obvious at Ralston Park in Lebanon, where a choir composed of Lebanon High School singers and community members filled the air with carols following the Twilight Parade. After their songs and a countdown, the large western red cedar — and every other bit of botany in the park — came to life with colored lights.

It was the classic American small-town celebration, where people gathered for the event, despite the rain, with kids hoisted on shoulders and smiling couples beneath umbrellas. Glow sticks and candy canes dotted the crowd. Fire trucks, illuminated Volkswagens, a dancing, elf-like snowman, and what may have been a Sasquatch tossed candy during the parade. One little boy turned out in his Batman costume, clearly owning his holiday experience.

Santa Claus, of course, was at both parades, as he likely was at events across the country. The man certainly gets around this time of year.

No matter the rain, Lebanon brought in the season as they have for generations: with a festive procession, witnessed by the people, making it clear that it'll be all toys, candy, warm fires and eggnog until the end of the year. That, no matter the weather, will always be certain.

Contact reporter Neil Zawicki at 541-812-6099 or neil.zawicki@lee.net

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