Auburn’s Colorful Festival of Lights

festival of lights


It turns out I just can’t get enough of these holiday events! Last night’s Festival of Lights event in Auburn was amazing! For such a small town, this was a super well-done event, with nearly 100 entries.

Here was some of the information the Auburn Journal (Gold Country Media) shared about the event, that I’ve modified for today:

Auburn’s Festival of Lights Parade always featuresa number of unique and creative floats. This year there were nearly 100 entries.

This was the city’s first Festival of Lights Parade since the pandemic, and the theme of the parade this year was “Christmas is Back in Auburn.”

“I have not seen as much excitement about a parade since I’ve been doing this,” said Committee Chair Steve Galyardt, who has worked on the parade for more than 10 years. “This parade is probably the greatest parade in America – it’s what made me fall in love with Auburn.”

Galyardt said while the parade draws people from all over the Sacramento region, the participants are truly local.

“It’s really, really fun,” he said. “It’s Americana. This isn’t the Goodyear Tire that has floats, it’s the local Baptist church, the Boy Scouts, local businesses, the Jeep Club. It is what Auburn is.”

Galyardt said the event was also a special occasion for families and generations of current and former Auburn residents who return year after year to watch the parade.

“It’s just magic,” he said. “It gets dark and all of a sudden everyone is lit up with the lights from the floats.”

Santa, of course, was available and made a cameo on the final float in the parade.

As usual, the parade started at Cherry Avenue and Lincoln Way at 5:30 p.m. and continued down High Street to the Gold Country Fairgrounds, where it ended at the upper parking lot. It lasted approximately 80 minutes and chairs were lined up three deep in some areas.

Becasue of the bright lights, dark night and lack of reflected light on faces, this was a seriously challenging to photograph. Next year, maybe I’ll try some flash? Happy holidays! 🎄

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All photos are copyright Chris Allan 2021 and cannot be used without my written permission. Please contact me for usage rights. Thank you for reading my blog post “The Festival of Lights,” a blog about this annual holiday event held in Auburn, California. To learn more about me and my work, please see my About page.

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