Second Annual Lighted Car Parade returns December 18 By Jillian Chandler
After proving to be a success in its inaugural year in 2020, the Gig Harbor Lighted Car Parade will once again bring magic and excitement to the community this holiday season.
The idea for a holiday car parade originated late last year when Kimber Lawrence was inspired by her friend, Stephanie Brooks, who was organizing a similar event in Home, Washington. “I gathered some of my friends (Robyn Denson, Melissa Oman and Paula Zenobio), and we threw the event together in four weeks,” Kimber smiles. “I am fortunate to be working with the same group again this year.”
In conjunction with the car parade, it was important to Kimber to hold a food and toy drive to benefit the local FISH Food Bank, and this year they will be adding Food Backpacks 4 Kids. Kiwanis has offered their large enclosed trailer for the collection of food and toys, which the community can drop off anytime between noon and 8pm the day of the event at Uptown by the Pavilion, and the local Key Club will be volunteering to collect and pack items into the trailer.
During last year’s event, which proved to be a huge success, 77 cars participated in the parade, with 3,755 food items and 464 toys collected for FISH Food Bank, and as Kimber says, “This year promises to be even bigger and better!”
In addition to the fabulously festive vehicles, the Beast Bus will be returning this year, with Frosty the Snowman onboard. The Fire Department will have two trucks, one for each parade route, and Santa will be riding along. The Grinch will be joining in the fun on his Harley, and there will be a full-size reindeer-drawn sleigh—which was built by Kimber’s husband and his friends, with Santa and Mrs. Claus riding shotgun. “I don't want anyone to think the reindeer will be real, but boy how I would like that to happen,” Kimber hints.
This year, the parade, which takes place Saturday, December 18, from 4:30 to 6pm, will begin and end at the Multicare parking lot in Uptown, with both parade routes making their way through downtown this year. Judson Street and Harborview are the most popular locations for viewing, as they have ample parking and sidewalk space. At the end, the festive cars will be parked for everyone to get a closer look and snap photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
For those looking to participate in the parade, arrive at the Multicare parking lot at 4pm in your creatively decorated car, and you will get set up on your route. “If being in the parade is not your thing, then come and enjoy the live musicians walking around playing holiday music, come meet your favorite Disney princes and princesses, do some holiday shopping, dine at one of the awesome restaurants at Uptown and just take in the holiday atmosphere,” says Kimber. “And don’t forget to wear your best and brightest holiday sweater.”
Those looking for additional details about this year's event, visit Facebook.com/GigHarborLightedCarParade. For those neighborhoods or businesses who would like to get involved in the food and toy drive, you can reach out to Kimber at firstname.lastname@example.org.