|Electric Light Parade Float|
Sights from the 2009 Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade as seen from the Yuma Sun float - favorite phrases: "Merry Christmas Darth Vader" and "It should be red!" Can we say it's a friendly Darth using Anakin's lightsaber?
|Holiday Light Parade|
The Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade was a big hit with children and adults alike. Local marching bands played holiday classics as floats lit up downtown streets.
Frank Pineda's house, located in the 2500 block of 6th Avenue, has thousands of lights and a lawn full of Christmas toys for everyone to enjoy. During the days leading up to Christmas, Santa himself will be at the Pineda house to greet children.
|Songs of the season|
Community Christian Church erected its 36-foot-tall Living Christmas Tree for their annual production of "Let There Be Light," a Christmas-themed choral concert featuring the 60 singers of the church choir. Video by Chris McDaniel and Rob Powell
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Living Christmas Tree sings again
Motorists along Highway 95 may have noticed a gigantic Christmas tree in the parking lot of Community Christian Church, complete with thousands upon thousands of lights.
That church's congregation has erected its 36-foot-tall Living Christmas Tree again this year and is inviting the public to watch their production of "Let There Be Light," a Christmas-themed choral concert featuring the 60 singers of the church choir.
The final two performances will be held Saturday and Sunday nights at 7 at 6480 E. Highway 95.
Admission is free, but free-will offerings will be accepted. Concessions including coffee and hot chocolate will be available. For more information, call 344-1360.
"The show is the typical Christmas story about the birth of Christ," said choir director Mavis Ellis.
"This is an original musical in the Christmas spirit. It has become a great Christmas tradition and it is different every year.
"The lights mesmerize the kids, and it is a very entertaining and memorable show. I know once people come and see it the first time, they are amazed at what they see and come back year after year.
"With over 22,000 lights and a living choir singing outside, there isn’t anything like it anywhere. This couldn't be done inside because the tree couldn't fit inside a building and in most places it can't be done outside because it's too cold. Up north it's freezing and snowing and blowing."
Doug McAllister, church pastor, said after a decade of producing the shows, the church has become very good at building the tree.
"We've been doing this for about 10 years now, and we tweak it each year and now it has almost become a giant tinker toy. All the 2-by-4s are marked with what goes to what and it takes about a week to erect this thing. We bundle it up and store it out back. Then we get a big forklift and haul it out here and erect it."
McAllister said the church has about $12,000 invested in the concert, which boasts 22,500 computer-controlled lights.
"It costs a lot of money to do it. We have a guy who works on this, and once the choir director finds out what concert we are going to do, he takes that and can program it to make the lights dance with the songs."
McAllister said the music will be lively. "This is all Christmas music. A lot of the music is not the kind of hymns you would sing at a church service, but it is Christmas music."
The church uses the concert for evangelism, he said. "We want to fill their minds with the real meaning of Christmas. That is what this is all about."
McAllister said even non-Christians should enjoy the show.
"The way it is presented with all the lights is a wow kind of thing people wouldn't normally see. When it gets to dancing, it is really something. It is entertaining and the music we sing is not something people are going to be offended by.
"We aren't going to be Bible thumpers and pressure anybody. We just want to wish them a merry Christmas."
McAllister said he expects a large turnout again this year.
"Last year we had about 2,500 people attend the six concerts total, and each year it becomes more of a tradition. It will be a different show, but the tree and the lights will be the same."