Holiday lighting ceremony, parade signal sign of normalcy for people in Coeur d’Alene

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Excitement is an understatement. 

People lined the streets of Coeur d’Alene as early as 10:30 a.m. on Friday in anticipation of the holiday parade and lighting ceremony. 

The annual celebration was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, but it has returned. 

The tradition has been going on for more than two decades and some people see its return as a sense of normalcy. 

“Everything is decorated so sweet and we love it. We’re having a great time,” said Jamie White. 

White and her kids spent Friday taking in all the holiday decorations, while also taking part in a scavenger hunt on Sherman Avenue. 

It was part of an effort to get more people walking into local businesses, which have suffered during the pandemic. 

But now, they’re anticipating to bounce back as the lights return to downtown. 

“It’s so much more magical, I think. Just because you can appreciate it even more, not being able to have it in the past year,” said Emily Boyd, Executive Director of the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association. “We’re really excited and so are all of our local businesses.” 

Rick Demmig and his family are also excited to see things back to normal. The annual ceremony has been a family tradition for the last 15 years, so they were disappointed when it was canceled. 

“It was tough on everybody,” Demmig said. “Staying home was tough, but you know, it’s Idaho, so we bounce back quite fast.” 

People filled Sherman Ave in full force Friday night for the parade and lighting ceremony. The MacSuga family happy to be back to watch the tradition. They’ve gone every year for more than 10 years.

“I’m really happy to see it. I love going here,” said 12-year-old Jasmine MacSuga.

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