Doreen Mack: The Santa Parade story
There was a time on Telegraph Square in 1996 at Lofty Expressions Design & Retail Shop where Santa and his live reindeer were a yearly Christmas event. A bubble and snow machine, balloons at every store, fresh popcorn and music made this a town extravaganza that lasted for days. Families would come from all over as well as some school class closures to bring students to pet the reindeer. All the shops and restaurants supported this by everyone participating in a Christmas theme that made us all one. The Hardman House supplied the living quarters for Santa and his crew, Horseshoe Club paid for their meals and made placemats with a map of the Telegraph Square event and all participating businesses. The Nugget had a gingerbread house theme with roasted chestnuts and the DBA flourished with the skating rink. It was truly a glorious time!
Ten years later the economy was struck by the recession. I kept my design business, but in 2006 I closed my retail shop as did all the businesses at Telegraph Square due to the economy. I was instrumental in creating Telegraph Square from the name, signage and design, worked on the alley and recruited businesses. My heart was broken to see this magnificent area now a virtual ghost town.
Two years later I was asked if there was something I could do with the City Tree Lighting to get people involved because there were no businesses to draw people to this dark area of town. Contacting 32 vendors who put up their tents at Telegraph Square, installing lights, and the existing Carson Street businesses staying open from Carson Jewelry and Loan, Sassafras, and Jewelry Bench in the worst weather you could imagine from winds, rain and sleet, people came out of the wood work and the Santa Parade was born. This was 10 years ago, and I can’t be more grateful and appreciative to all of you who have supported this wonderful event:
The Nevada Appeal for your promotions and Santa Picture. Channel 4 News for publishing and putting it on its website and Carsonnow.org for the fabulous photos and captivating story.
Thank You to the following and everyone one of you who have supported and participated in making this a success.
Downtown 2020 Group for your support and Lacy for all your hard work.
Lena at the License Division for all your help.
Greenhouse Garden Center for supplying the Christmas tree and this year also delivering the gnome that added to the Christmas spirit.
Seana, James and staff at the Carson City Cultural & Tourism Authority for printing, advertising and participating with the small truck.
Office Depot with supplying the business flyers and Chamber of Commerce for advertising.
Carson High School for helping with the 4,500 flyers and Christmas caroling on Telegraph Square.
My husband, Santa and family, friends and grandchildren for all your support with helping Santa, face painting and making bracelets.
Hoof Beats for the Santa horse and carriage, Nancy for the Mmsic, Bella Vita and King of Kings Food Truck, and FISH.
All the downtown businesses who contributed to the Santa raffle. Your support doesn’t go unnoticed. And finally, Rocking and Rolling for the years of using your porch for Santa, and you our community for your years of support.
Merry Christmas — God bless, Doreen
Doreen Mack is president of Downtown 2020 and Lofty Expressions Interiors