Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

A new and extended route is planned for this year's Al Gray Memorial Lighted Parade in Fortuna. The parade will take place on Friday, Dec. 7.

Judging and staging for the 2012 parade will take place behind Safeway in the Redwood Village Shopping Center starting at 4:30 p.m. In years past, the lighted vehicles gathered in the shopping Center parking areas in front of the businesses.

The new route this year starts and ends at the Redwood Village Shopping Center, with awards to be handed out at the conclusion of the parade.

The plan is for the lighted vehicles will exit Redwood Village Shopping Center between McDonald's and Burger King, turn left on South Fortuna Boulevard, proceed to Kenmar Road, make a U turn at the stoplight and proceed north on South Fortuna Boulevard past the Strongs Creek Shopping Center.

The parade will turn right on Redwood Way and proceed to the Sequoia Springs Assisted Living facility, turning left on Springville Avenue, then left on Shamrock Drive, right on Lawndale, and then left onto Newburg Road.

The parade will turn right onto Fortuna Boulevard at the intersection with Newburg Road, proceed through downtown Fortuna (not stopping on Main Street as in prior years), turning left on 9th Street, left again on L Street, right on 12th Street, back to Newburg Road, to Fortuna Boulevard, and returning to Redwood Village Shopping Center (turning left at Peppers Restaurant into the parking area for the awards presentation.)
The extended route will cover more than four miles, which is more than double last year's and previous years' routes, when the parade started at Redwood Village Shopping Center and ended in downtown Fortuna.

The official deadline to enter a vehicle in the lighted parade is Friday, but late entries will be considered depending on available space. Contact the Fortuna Business Improvement District at 725-9261 or Country Rose at 725-0206 for more information.

photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

The time is fast approaching for the Annual Fortuna Lighted Christmas Parade. Last year participants loaded their sleigh with lighted gifts and smiling children to bring the Christmas spirit to the streets of Fortuna. Dawnell Kurwitz poses with her children and extended family loaded in their float during the 2011 lighted parade.