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HomeCommunityWhy We Love This Place Wednesdays: Our Magical Country Christmas Celebration

Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Our Magical Country Christmas Celebration

A sea of people walk alongside Santa as they head to the tree at the top of Main for the big finale of the annual Christmas celebration.

By Terra Avilla

Freezing cold. That’s what I remember about the first event I ever worked for the Police Department.

It was freezing cold and I was directing traffic away from Main Street where the Lassen Chamber of Commerce were having their annual Uptown Christmas event. I stood at the intersection near Sierra Jewelry five years ago watching families walk by.

For the event my sergeant was most likely being nice, or perhaps he felt bad for me, so he put me in a spot where I could see the parade.

I stood there, with a frozen nose, watching the floats, the little kids on the floats who were laughing and waving to me as they went by. That was my first true taste of life in Lassen County. I had no idea how much I would come to look forward to this event year after year, freezing cold and all.

I think it’s fair to say it’s one of the most unique events we have as a community. You have the magic of Christmas season, coupled with all of the families who are gathered, a parade and fireworks. That’s pretty enchanting stuff.

Year after year, I watch families assemble on the streets of Uptown Susanville.

Little girls sit on their father’s shoulders watching as the giant tree lights up. Boys sit on their mama’s laps during the fireworks. I hear little kids, and some adults, scream as Santa comes by near the end of the parade.

I smell the freshly made hot chocolate and the corn dogs being sold alongside the streets.

I see Mr. and Ms. Couso walking around capturing photographic evidence of the love that is in the air during the night. I feel the affection our community has for this event.

My new favorite part? Watching the dancers perform in the middle of Uptown Susanville. My daughter performed for the first time, this past weekend. The memory of her dancing in her cute red and white dress, will be etched on my heart forever. By dance, I mean she hopped around a lot and did more singing than actual dancing, but it was still the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

I can’t help but think about the thousands of other families that share a similar memory. I feel fortunate to now be a part of that fellowship.

How overwhelming is it – that as you walk down the street during those two hours, you see neighbors, your children’s teachers, kids that you watched grow up, that are not such kids anymore. They are there with their own family. Small town life at its pinnacle.

All the people that work tirelessly to ensure that this event happens. Thank you.

Patty Hagata and Gary Felt, and I’m sure the hundred other people who make a million arrangements for our town to have such a special night. Thank you.

Thank you for giving my daughter a chance to dance with her friends.

Thank you for giving all of the other kids the opportunity to see fireworks, sit on Santa’s lap and be a part of our community.

Thank you for the occasion for the various groups and clubs to enter their own special float into the parade year after year.

Thank you for providing thousands of us with a Christmas tradition.

The feeling that is in the air during Uptown Christmas is partly due to the holiday season, but I think the majority of the excitement is the magic that we as community generate when we are together.

Uptown Christmas – you were one of the very first reasons I fell in love with this place we call home, and one of the very reasons I still do.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor


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