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Golf car decorated

The Estates Golf Car Christmas Lights Parade, Which Weaved Through the Streets of Woodburn Dec. 6 and 7, Has Been a Tradition Since 1991

Golf carts line up for the annual Estates Golf Car Christmas Lights Parade Thursday night and the parade boasted many creative designs, including one decorated with dachshund “reindeer,” which appear to be pulling the golf cart. This year’s annual parade of golf carts through The Estates was yet again a success, despite chilly winds and the threat of rain.

The Estates Golf Car Christmas Light Parade has been a tradition at The Estates Golf & Country Club since 1991, said organizer Becky Butts.

Since its inception, the only time the parade has been canceled was in 2008, which happened to be the same night as the West Coast Bank bombing.

“It’s a good thing we didn’t do it because we would have been going through there right at that time,” Butts said. The event is sponsored by Foursom Golf Cars, which caters to a meal for the group after the parade is finished.

“We used to have a little potluck on the second night,” said Georgia Varconi, who has participated since moving to The Estates in 1995. It has grown. And it gets better every year.”

The parade is a two-night affair, with fire trucks and police cruisers escorting the 20-plus carts through The Estates’ neighborhoods south of Highway 214 the first night and north of 214 the second night.

This year, an old fire truck led the group, holding not just general manager Sharon Schaub and other honorary guests, but also Mayor Kathy Figley.

Guests also join family members in their golf carts, including Dick Koessel’s great-grandchildren, who joined him on the route last year. He has been participating in the event for four years.

“We all have to either put a generator on the back of (the car) or we put an inverter in that converts the 12 volt system of the golf car into 110 (volts) for the lights,” he explained, as he got ready for the parade in The Estates’ parking lot.

Despite the chilly weather and threat of rain, Varconi said it’s worth it.

“It’s Christmas, and it’s got to be cold for Christmas,” she said. “As big as Senior Estates is, more people could come and do it. It’s wonderful. We just need more people to come and realize what we do. A lot of people don’t have any idea.”

Koessel said the parade is just one example of the many group activities offered at The Estates.

“It’s camaraderie that the people of The Estates get here,” Koessel said. “It’s just another thing that binds the people together. They just have a lot of fun doing it.”

By: Lindsay Keefer

Woodburn Independent

Published: 12/11/2012 9:58:13 AM