Deck the rigs: Light-adorned tractor-trailers to lead Christmas parades starting Saturday

Updated Dec 8, 2017
Waimea, in Hawaii, is home to the oldest Christmas truck parade in the U.S., dating back to 1960.Waimea, in Hawaii, is home to the oldest Christmas truck parade in the U.S., dating back to 1960.

Truckers are the headliners in some upcoming holiday events, where Christmas truck parades are a beloved tradition benefiting local communities.

Lighted truck and tractor parades used to be more common in rural America and helped mark the close of the working year. Today, trucker themed holiday parades continue in a few locations scattered across the Pacific states. Hawaii holds claim to the oldest, where residents of Kamuela, better known as Waimea, began their parade in 1960 to honor trucking’s role in the ranching, logging and farming community.

This year’s theme is “Truckers Light the Town” and drivers have been asked to not blow their horns until they are past the city’s hospital. Waimea’s Christmas Twilight Parade will be 5:30 p.m. Saturday and proceeds will benefit needy area families.

Oregon’s trio of parades kicks off with La Pine’s Christmas Light Parade 6 p.m. Saturday. Following that is the 24th annual Timber Truckers Light Parade 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9, which has drawn as many as 15,000 spectators to watch the 90-minute convoy from Riddle to Myrtle Creek. Sutherlin’s Timber Town Toyland Parade will be 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

The largest number of U.S. trucker parades is found north of Sacramento, California, with three  scheduled for this Saturday (Dec. 2) alone. Ukiah’s Truckers Light Parade begins at 5:45 p.m., Paradise’s Truck Parade of Lights commences at 6 p.m. and Fort Bragg’s Holiday Lights Parade, formerly the Lighted Truck Parade, starts at 7 p.m.

But the granddaddy of the state’s industry parades is Eureka’s Truckers Christmas Parade, set for 6 p.m. Dec. 9. What began informally in the late ‘70s annually draws about 60 trucks to the 7.5-mile route. On Friday, Dec. 8, neighboring Fortuna hosts its Lighted Truck Parade, now known as Al Gray Lighted Parade, at 6:30 p.m.