Offbeat Sweet: Ukiah Truckers Light Parade

Admire illumination on larger vehicles in the Mendocino County town.

CHOOSING THE MOST OFFBEAT... holiday parade in the Golden State? Please. In the annals of can't-even-ness, this is pretty darn "can't even." You don't want to choose and you don't even want to start, because you just want to give every last one of California's plucky, decoration-laden processions a big blue ribbon and call it a happy day. For this big ol' amazing place, the 31st state, has so many creatively minded burgs and villages and metropolises that seeing all of the surreal and fun festive offerings each December is probably impossible. But alighting upon a few of the stand-outs, the real camera-ready events, is quite possible, and as December is here, so are some of the best glowful goings-on. One of the most memorable parades happens in Ukiah, in Mendocino County, and if you know your Ukiah, which you surely do thanks to its plentiful recreation and arts-minded to-dos, then you surely know about the...

TRUCKERS LIGHT PARADE: Nope, it isn't lit-up boats, which get a lot of deserved play off our shores, and it isn't tractors, which do run, all gussied up, in pretty spots like Calistoga. Rather, look for some bigger wheels to roll on Saturday, Dec. 2, the kind of mondo vehicles that take a number of hours to fully festoon. But if you also like a more traditional illuminated parade, the kind with cars and floats and waving people, that'll be sauntering down North State Street, too, at the very same time. A twofer parade? Both trucks and traditional parade wheels? Lucky you, if you get to enjoy this double helping of holiday bliss. But then, if you're visiting Ukiah, you're already pretty lucky, which is a fine state in which to start December. Also a fine way to start December is in a peaceful state of free-a-tude, and the Truckers Light Parade just happens to be that: Free to see.

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