Festival of Lights 2019

The coronavirus pandemic caused the Belgrade Community Coalition to rethink how it will organize the Festival of Lights this year, the organization’s board president Tiffany Maierle told the Belgrade City Council last week.

While it’s not clear exactly what will happen this year, the festival as its been will not be held, Mairele said.

“It’s not fully baked yet,” she told the council regarding new ideas. “We are looking for something safe.”

The organization is kicking around the idea of holding a parade to travel through the city’s neighborhoods, Mairele said. Last year, the downtown festival was flanked with gravel trucks and pickups festooned with Christmas lights.

“We could have 30 or so trucks decorated to parade through residential areas to bring the event to people,” she said.

No one would ride on the trucks, but the lighted convoy could drive around, Mairele said. The organization is working with the city on how that could happen.

“I think our community is craving something,” she said.

The usual lighted decorations downtown would be on display as usual in the trees at the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce and street lights along Main Street. The group is also considering setting up a lighted park at the Belgrade Senior Center.

For their part, the council backed the idea. Members of the council have praised the volunteer group in the past for providing numerous community events.