ONTARIO — Both Ontario and Nyssa are gearing up for their annual Christmas parades, both of which will be on Saturday and people around the valley are being encouraged to attend both.
Before either parade occurs, the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Breakfast with Santa, starting at 6:45 a.m. Friday at the Elk’s Lodge, as a lead into
Ontario’s Winter Wonderland Parade, which will start at 1 p.m., next to Albertson’s. It will travel down Southwest Fourth Avenue to South Oregon Street, ending up in front of the Train Deport.
Immediately after the parade, Santa Claus will disembark from this float and go over to Moore Park, at the intersection of South Oregon and Southwest First Avenue, for a meet-and-greet for local youth, said John Beidenbach, president of the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce. Some businesses will have hot chocolate for sale to parade goers, he said, and there will be some vendors at the Moore Park event.
The theme of the parade is “Santa’s Workshop” and Grand Marshall of this year’s event is Mike Iseri, longtime Ontario business man and community supporter.
Breidenbach said Iseri was chosen this year because of his involvement with the Japanese American Citizens League, the Buddhist Church and its annual Obon Festival, America’s Global Village Festival and the Sister City program and other events.
The Junior Grand Marshall is Richard Lanier Jr. who suggested the parade theme.
This year’s parade court includes Queen Kyla Larson, Princess Hailee Hill and Princess Bentley Weldon.
Festivities at Nyssa begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Thunderegg Memorial Park where there will be the lighting of the Christmas tree and caroling by participants. The park is located along Main Street, between North Sixth Street and US Bank.
Starting a 5 p.m. members of Nyssa Christian Fellowship will begin serving up hamburgers, nearby along Main Street, and will be having a live nativity.
Nyssa’s Nite Lite Parade begins at 6 p.m., leaving from Park Avenue, traveling on Thunderegg Boulevard to Main Street and down Main to First. The theme of the parade is “Candyland.”
The Grand Marshals are Don and Connie Bullard, long-time Nyssa area residents.
Both are the familiar faces behind the cannon which is shot off at Nyssa High School football games.
Don Bullard served 41 years on the Nyssa School Board, has served on the board of the Oregon School Boards Association and still serves on the Malheur Education Service District Board.
Bullard is a retired farmer and Connie Bullard retired after 30 years at Ore-Idaho (now Kraft Heinz). Both are active members of Owyhee Community Church.