Bring Back the Light Parade seeks to set holiday traditions in Amherst
By Taylor J. Hale
AMHERST — The faint luminary radiance of holiday lights gleaming like candles in the night is a nostalgic sight that draws memories of family and time-honored traditions. The town of Amherst is set to start its own annual festivities this year on Dec. 1, with their Bring Back the Light Parade.
“The parade started with an idea from one of the Amherst Opera House Guild members as a fun way to have the final event of the year for the Amherst Opera House,” said Tom Parker, President of the Amherst Opera House Co. Guild Board. “The idea came from Amy Powers, owner of The Village Hive Bakery in Amherst. It was then brought to the Tomorrow River Business Association as an idea. This is the first year in what we hope will be a new tradition for the Amherst Opera House Company Guild and the Tomorrow River Business Association.”
The free event will start around 4 p.m. on Main Street in Amherst. Those who come are encouraged to wrap themselves, their kids, pets, bikes, and everything else in colorful holiday lights.
“There will be people walking, biking, businesses, groups, and organizations. Potentially Model A cars, weather permitting, and the Fire Department trucks. Anything you can put lights on,” Parker said.
The event is funded entirely by donations. The Amherst Opera House Company Guild and the Tomorrow River Business Association co-organized the event. The Amherst Opera House Company Guild is a new 501(c)3 non-profit group that was established to return the Amherst Opera House to the community. The Amherst Opera House had sat dilapidated and vacant for years until the group’s dedicated help.
“We envision the historic Opera House as a venue for local theater, visual arts, music, and community gatherings of all types. For that reason, we look for ways to involve the community and draw people into our building that had been boarded up for the last 50 years.” Parker said.
Parker is happy to see things continue so smoothly in the preliminary steps of the parade. His enduring passion for giving the community something to celebrate is impressive.
“I think people enjoy feeling that they are a part of something larger than themselves, something that is fun and is good for all involved. We need to look for opportunities to provide experiences like these as often as we can.”
For more info on the Bring Back the Light Parade in Amherst, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/2218488848393726/. To have your business or organization participate in the parade, contact Amy Powers at email@example.com.