Ho ho ho, Hillsboro! It’s once again time for the annual Orenco Christmas Parade. That time of year when the good folks of the historic Orenco neighborhood roll out en masse on their lawn tractors (a.k.a. riding lawn mowers) festooned with holiday bling and imbued with Christmas spirit. 2020 is the parade’s 12th year!
The event takes place multiple evenings. For 2020, it’s Dec. 11, 12, 18, 19, and 20. Please note, though, the parade route differs from day to day following a preset schedule. The course has three components. OLD ORENCO, the heart of the route, is traveled every evening of the parade. The ORENCO GARDENS loop is added on the 12th, 18th, and 20th. And the DANBURY PARK loop is added on the 11th and 19th. Maps of the routes are included below (click to enlarge). The parade’s start time is 7:00 pm and the event concludes by around 8:00.
Spectators along the parade route are heartily welcomed. However, please remember COVID-19 social distancing is in effect. So members of one household should ensure they remain at least six feet away from members of a different household. Spectators may view the parade from any safe spot along the route. Ron and Pam Bulmann tell us NE 68th Avenue alongside Orenco Elementary School is a particularly good vantage point (refer to the route maps).
Additionally, anyone and everyone is invited to decorate their own lawn tractor (and its trailer, if applicable), ATV, car, or truck and join the parade. Participation is not limited to residents of the Orenco district. As parade founder Ron Bulmann says, “The more the merrier!” There are only two rules: 1) Each float must carry a working fire extinguisher and 2) Candy [or any other items] may not be thrown from floats. And please remember your face mask. The meetup/staging area for parade participants is on NE 71st Avenue alongside Orenco Elementary at 6:45 pm (the parade begins at 7:00).
A quick, closing word on behalf of the parade’s organizers. This festive, community event relies on a small number of volunteers and donations to pay for the required insurance policy. If you’re interested in helping next year, please visit the Orenco Christmas Parade website for more details.