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When Scott and Diane Dominguez asked their son Nolan what he would like to celebrate his third birthday, his answer somewhat surprised them. He wanted to see the Truckers Christmas Parade in Eureka.

Given that they live in the town of Oxnard, some 600 miles to the south, they thought perhaps he should consider other options closer to home in Southern California, rather than the yearly December spectacle on wheels.

Legoland? Negative. Disneyland? No way. His mother Diane Dominguez explained why.

”At night, we sometimes look at videos on YouTube, and we came across one of the Truckers Parade,” she said. “He played it over and over again.”

Nolan was hooked, mesmerized by a convoy of 18-wheelers adorned with as many as 400,000 lights each -- requiring three generators to power -- all blaring jungle bells on their foghorn.

”I want to see them. I want to see them. I want to see them,” Nolan said.

After researching more about the area on the Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau website, they decided they would drive up to the Redwood Coast, a place they had never been to before.

”We thought, 'We should do this. Nolan will never be 3 again.' And we decided to make this a family gift,” Diane Dominguez said.

The family found a cozy Trinidad cottage through Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals. Mike Reinman, the general manager of the company, became caught up in the holiday spirit and decided to upgrade the family to a larger home on the same property.

”I just wanted to make something nice happen here. They seem like a great family,” he said.

The family, who first saw the parade in a clip from a Discovery Channel Christmas special posted on YouTube.com/Redwoodcoaster, contacted KEKA, the Eureka radio station that organizes the parade, to find out more.

Angie Papstein, co-owner of parent company Eureka Broadcasting Inc., said the station was more than happy to assist. In fact, she and other station representatives are planning to meet the family this afternoon and show little Nolan the trucks up close at the staging area before the parade starts at Redwood Acres.

”After talking to them on the phone, it'll be fun to meet them and put a face on the family,” she said.

Brian Papstein, Angie's husband and Eureka Broadcasting co-owner, who somewhat resembles a clean-shaven Santa Claus, emphasized that proceeds from the parade, now in its 35th year, go to worthy causes.

This year, for example, they will go to Families Advocating Autism Now, a nonprofit started by Humboldt County mothers of children with autism spectrum. The group does many things for children, families, schools, educators and the community.

Previous parade funds have purchased computers for homeless children, backpacks for Eureka students, and improvements to the Redwood Fields ballparks.

”We always look forward to supporting organizations that help youth in our community,” Papstein said.

This year in particular, the parade will not only benefit local youth, but one little boy from far, far away, Nolan Dominguez, who should experience a birthday gift to remember for a lifetime.

At a glance:

What: Truckers Christmas Parade

When: Today. At noon, the public can view the vehicles being decorated at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. The parade leaves the fairgrounds parking lot at 6 p.m. It lasts about 90 minutes. At 7:45 p.m., awards are given out at Redwood Acres.

Where: The parade follows a seven-mile route through Eureka. It begins at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds at 6 p.m., travels west on Harris Street, north on I Street, east on Seventh Street, right on Myrtle Avenue and back to the Redwood Acres parking lot via the back gate, off Myrtle Avenue.

To find out more, look at a map, or register a vehicle, contact Dale Bridges at 443-2693 or 442-5744, or visit keka101.com/info/truckers-parade

Richard Stenger, media & marketing manager for the Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau, happily lives only three blocks from the parade route.