Santa Claus Parade brings joy to Bella Coola Valley

The Santa Claus Parade held Saturday, Dec. 10 in Bella Coola was a bit hit for the community here Kirsten Milton-Tallio, Journey Hans and Raylea Moody enoy a ride on a float. (Photo submitted)The Santa Claus Parade held Saturday, Dec. 10 in Bella Coola was a bit hit for the community here Kirsten Milton-Tallio, Journey Hans and Raylea Moody enoy a ride on a float. (Photo submitted)
Children in the Bella Coola Valley enjoyed watching and waving to participants in the Santa Claus Parade. (Photo submitted)Children in the Bella Coola Valley enjoyed watching and waving to participants in the Santa Claus Parade. (Photo submitted)
One participant rode a unicycle. (Photo submitted)One participant rode a unicycle. (Photo submitted)
The Bella Coola Volunteer Fire Department with Santa Claus on board. (Photo submitted)The Bella Coola Volunteer Fire Department with Santa Claus on board. (Photo submitted)
More than 30 vehicles participated in the parade. (Photo submitted)More than 30 vehicles participated in the parade. (Photo submitted)

On Dec. 11 Bella Coola hosted the second annual holiday lights parade. Last year there were seven to 10 trucks that lit up the streets. This year we had 37.

Tears of joy streamed down my face watching this community come together to light up the dark streets with this annual tradition.

The community met on December 11th at 4 p.m. from Acwsalcta parking lot to decorate. The community came together to decorate various trucks and buses. People that weren’t even in the parade came to decorate. The parade ran through 4 mile, and then continued towards downtown.

This year we ended at BCE where Kevin Gianakos, the principal of Bella Coola Elementary, opened the school as a warming hut. Charlotte Lancour, Wanda Tuck and Veronica Carrier made supper for the community.

We had soup, pasta, and a hot chocolate bar. So many members of the community reached out to help to make this event happen. We had donations from Hagensborg Mercantile, Mountain Valley Organics, Got Wood, Bella Coola Mountain Lodge and Grizzly tours, Alberts Mechanic shop, Maureen Mack, Williams Lake and District Credit Union, Home Hardware, community support society, Percilla Edgar, Nuslhiixwta, WBC LTD, Lorinda Anderson and Rhonda Coles. These members of the community helped feed and supply materials to make dinner easier.

We hope to have this a yearly event.

We started this last year because we have children who have never seen a parade. Charlotte, and myself along with a couple of moms were excited to bring some traditions from our childhood to life. It is incredible how much this community comes together. Bella Coola is a truly magical place.

Watching the trucks this year had a different feeling. Last year we had the feeling of accomplishment. This year it was a feeling of togetherness and community. The community really came together this year and all helped each other out. We plan on doing it yearly. A huge shout out to all the community volunteers who decorated trucks and drove them. A truly magical night my kids still talk about a couple weeks after.

Bella Coola