Lynden lights up Christmas with nighttime parade and Sinterklaas

Crowds braved cold weather and high winds at Lynden’s Lighted Christmas Parade in 2010.
Crowds braved cold weather and high winds at Lynden’s Lighted Christmas Parade in 2010. For The Bellingham Herald

It’s all about the Dutch over the winter holidays in Lynden.

The Lighted Christmas Celebration begins with breakfast with Sinterklaas, a mythical figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins based on Saint Nicholas, on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the community center, and ends with the lighted parade that evening.

“The whole day contributes to the spirit of Lynden in many different ways,” says Tammy Yoder, marketing and events coordinator for Lynden Chamber of Commerce, which is the main organizer for the day.

“The breakfast with Sinterklaas continues on with the Dutch influences, and since we now coordinate his visit with the community center’s monthly breakfast, a lot of the older Dutch people get to relive their childhood,” she says.

The parade itself promotes the family atmosphere, a big part of Christmas. Families and businesses work together on making the parade entries while another large portion of the community makes a family event out of the evening, by bundling up in the cold with hot cocoa and treats while they enjoy the lights and sounds of the holiday, Yoder says.

The event is organized and sponsored by many people but the Lynden Chamber of Commerce is the main organizer for the day.

Visitors also enjoy the “Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt” that takes place downtown all day (with prizes) and the Christmas tree lighting and community caroling just before the parade.

Depending on weather, Yoder says there can be up to 8,000 people at the parade.

“The parade seems to be the favorite things because it appeals to all age groups. The senior centers bring their buses down for their residents to enjoy, so it’s not just for kids.”

Details: 360-354-5995, lynden.org,