Annual Christmas Faculty Party

The Winter Wonderland Light Parade of Idaho Falls is back for the first time in nearly 12 years, and participating businesses are prepared to create family memories.

“I’m excited to bring it back and hopefully create many memories for families,” said Suzanne Sibbett, Mrs. Idaho Falls.

She said going to the parade with her family when she was only 6 years old is a fond memory of hers. She said her grandfather led the parade in his patrol car.

Sibbett said her family made a yearly tradition to watch the tree lighting ceremony and parade. She said her family always sat in the same spot and drank hot chocolate while she anticipated seeing Santa.

Sibbett said the parade floats will be loaded with Christmas lights. She said attendees will see Polar Express, Winter Wonderland  and many other themes throughout the parade.

She said she wants this to be a safe event, so participating businesses will be handing out candy as they pass instead of throwing it.

Sibbett said Santa is set to appear at the end of the parade.

“I was part of the parade years ago when it went from one side of town to the other,” said Monica Johnson-Layton, a resident planning to attend the parade. “It was so much fun, and I am just beaming with happiness that it is coming back.”

Sibbett said if students are unable to go home for the holidays and are feeling homesick, she hopes they will attend the parade and be reminded of their homes.

“I hope it brings back memories of when they did things in their hometowns when they were kids,” Sibbett said.

Sibbett said some travel a long way to go to school at BYU-Idaho. She said her desire is that students and residents alike feel as though they are part of a strong, healthy community.

Sibbett said being with family and friends in a good environment like the Winter Wonderland Light Parade, gives children a good impression of their community.

“I just hope that by watching the parade we can get into the Christmas spirit and be a community,” Sibbett said.

Sibbett said that she wants people to come together, see the heart of the community of Idaho Falls, take a break from all the cares of the world and see the good around them in their own communities.

Sibbett said one would be surprised how much he or she can do for a community. She said even the smallest ideas can mean great things for a community.

Idaho Falls is celebrating 150 years since its founding in 1866, and the Winter Wonderland Light Parade is part of that celebration.

The parade will begin Saturday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m. following the tree lighting ceremony at Civitan Plaza in downtown Idaho Falls, according the Winter Wonderland Light Parade Facebook page.

The parade route will start at Memorial Drive turning left on A Street, and left again on Capital Avenue and left again on E Street where it will finish where it started, at Memorial Drive.

Sibbett said parking and bathroom amenities will be provided along the parade route.

Proceeds after expense will be used to support the 2016 parade and go to the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center Forensic Nursing Program, according to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center Facebook page.

“I think we have a great community,” Sibbett said. “That’s what improves Idaho Falls: people getting together and helping out with different community events,”

For more information, visit the Idaho Falls Winter Wonderland Light Parade Facebook page.