The streets of Mission will light up this weekend with a parade of decorated vehicles for the third consecutive year. On Friday and Saturday night (Dec. 9 and 10), vehicles will drive from the Junction Shopping Centre parking lot through two separate routes as part of the ‘Light Up The Nights Christmas Parade’.
Clark “Griswold” Jahn started the parade in 2020 as a way to provide a COVID-safe option for the community after the Mission Candlelight Parade was cancelled. He had previously been a part of the candlelight parade for 18 years.
“We had terrible year [in 2020] and it’s like cancelling Christmas — the kids were looking forward to it and everything,” Jahn said. “It started off the first year with just like five of us but by the end of the sixth night, there was almost 250 [decorated vehicles].”
The parade surpassed 200 vehicles in 2021 and a similar turnout is expected this weekend, Jahn says. When the Mission Candlelight Parade was cancelled last week, Jahn and 10 others provided an appetizer for this weekend with an improvised parade on Friday night.
“We happened to be in town at the time driving around and thought it was unfortunate that the Mission [parade] was cancelled,” Jahn said.
Jahn posted to Facebook and an hour later 10 vehicles drove through downtown Mission twice.
“The love and compassion that comes back to you as you’re driving through the city streets and seeing the joy and happiness it brings to the people is just unbelievable,” Jahn said.
Snow is expected for the weekend, but Jahn says the parade will proceed. Potential parade participants are asked to decorate their vehicle and choose the night they wish to join.
The parade will start at 7 p.m. both nights — finishing at Wren Street on Friday and FreshCo. on Saturday.