Oroville celebrates Parade of Lights with large turnout

OROVILLE — Hundreds of people gathered at downtown Oroville for the Oroville Parade of Lights on Saturday. The sidewalks were packed.

The event hosted by the Downtown Oroville business administration featured more than 30 floats decorated with colorful Christmas lights and inflatables. Many came early with camping chairs to get a good view.

Oroville Mayor Chuck Reynolds kicked off the event driving a Ford Mustang with his wife Sandy Reynolds; Oroville historians Alberta Tracy and Daniel Ballard.

Long time resident and nurse Connie Foley said she has been living in Oroville for 20 years and had never seen this many people downtown.

“This is a great turnout for this year. I went 2 years ago before COVID and It was nothing like this,” Foley said. “The streets are packed more so than I’ve seen in years and years. Considering all that we’ve been through, I mean look at this. This is amazing.”

Foley attributes the parade’s popularity to the new population who has moved in since the Camp Fire in 2018.

“The new people that are here that have come in for fire issues, we’re seeing that here,” Foley said. “It’s not just the ones who have been here for 20 years. It’s the people that have moved in, younger generations, all mixed.”

Foley was at the Parade of Lights with her 9-year-old son Bryan Foley.

“All my children have seen this a time or two, and he loves it so I brought him,” Foley said.

The parade’s route was about 10 blocks long and sidewalks of all sides of the streets were packed with families. Floats scattered candy on the street and children happily walked to pick them up.

The Stream Charter School Marching Band decorated their instruments and played a symphonic version of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” for the public. Morgan Ambrose who plays trumpet for the Stream Charter School Marching Band said they rehearsed for three weeks.

Many visitors spend the day with their family looking at the lights. Jennifer White visited the parade with her family and her granddaughter Isla.

“It’s her first time. It’s her birthday actually and we’re ending the day with some lights.”

Tony Soria visited with his partner and daughter.

“Oh man it’s nice. I’d say one out of ten, I’d give it like a nine,” said Tony Soria.  “The kid loves it  — she gets a big kick out of it.”

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