Here come the corgis! Sisters’ Christmas Parade had lots of crowd-pleasing entries — especially the animals. Photo by Gary Miller
Here come the corgis! Sisters’ Christmas Parade had lots of crowd-pleasing entries — especially the animals. Photo by Gary Miller
With fir trees strapped atop luggage racks and spirits high despite a brisk wind, holiday crowds lined Hood Avenue earmuff to earmuff, jockeying for position for the start of the 35th Annual Sisters Christmas Parade.

Jimmy Durante's "Frosty The Snowman" rang out over PA speakers, warming visitors' hearts as they huddled in sleeping bags and camped out in the hind end of mini-vans with stocking-capped tots and dogs in reindeer antlers to watch a menagerie of animals, decorated floats and costumed characters file down the parade route.

Claudia Roberts and Diana Sprague spent Thanksgiving in Sisters and were here to specifically see the mini-donkeys.

"I love small-town parades; this is so cool," said Roberts. "We've come for years and should have moved here 30 years ago. Every time we come there's something new to see."

Acting as Grand Marshals of the parade, the University of Oregon Duck and Oregon State University Beaver mascots marched down the street with Marsha Marr acting as their whistle-blowing referee in zebra stripes. A mock football scrimmage broke out in anticipation of this Saturday's "Civil War" rivalry game.

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District's 1943 pumper truck, bristling with toys, lights and decorations, led a convoy of firefighting vehicles representing the various area fire districts. Sisters area veterans on foot and in ceremonial antique cars followed, honoring all vets and local heroes.

The Larrance family from Tigard was here visiting family and celebrating their 10th Sisters parade in a row.

"We come every year and we're pretty proud of it," said patriarch Geoff Larrance.

Jackson Larrance, 7, sat in the back of their SUV to keep warm with some hot chocolate.

"I love the parade. I like Santa the best," he said. His brother Logan, 6, is hoping for an electric train for Christmas. "My favorite part is Santa, too, and eating lots of cookies," he remarked. "My daddy is going to retire here."

Many entrants are longtime favorites.

"And here come the Corgis," yelled announcer Bob Buckmann in his black Stetson, heralding the "Corgi Express," a four-dog hitch pulling a festive Christmas wagon. The parade favorites responded to the crowd's cheers and zipped along courtesy of 16 tiny churning legs.

The irresistible allure of a hometown parade was felt by all as hundreds of people applauded and laughed after each glittering float, trailer and holiday-garbed group ambled past. Where else can you see a John Deere tractor hooked to a farm cart full of pre-schooler Santas, quarter horses and mini-donkeys wearing antlers, and family pets forced to wear red and green Christmas clothes.

Jessica Snow of Sisters came slightly under-dressed in silk shorts and Ugg boots.

"We didn't know there was a parade and came into town to watch," she laughed, shivering in the cold. "I am wearing a fleece jacket if that helps."