The group of 4x4ers decided to start the “Light up the Night Christmas Parade” after the organizers of the Candlelight Parade were forced to cancel the parade and replace it with a virtual version, Clark ‘Griswold’ Jahn said. Submitted photo.

The group of 4x4ers decided to start the “Light up the Night Christmas Parade” after the organizers of the Candlelight Parade were forced to cancel the parade and replace it with a virtual version, Clark ‘Griswold’ Jahn said. Submitted photo.

VIDEO: Festive fleet of Mission 4x4ers spread Christmas spirit after annual parade cancelled

Clark ‘Griswold’ Jahn’s Rudolph-themed truck leads the pack; says the fleet is growing every night

Clark ‘Griswold’ Jahn. Submitted photo.

This season would have been Clark ‘Griswold’ Jahn’s 20th time driving his Rudolph-themed truck down 1st Avenue for Mission’s annual Candlelight Parade. But when the pandemic forced its cancellation, he set out to start a new tradition of his own.

“We really have to end this year with a happier note. We’ve got to keep the Christmas spirit alive,” Jahn said. “The love and compassion I’ve been getting from [the community] over these past nights, it’s just so unbelievable and overwhelming.”

For the past three nights, Jahn and a group of fellow 4x4ers have been slowly driving around Mission in a festive fleet of off-road vehicles adorned with Christmas lights and decorations. The group decided to begin the “Light up the Night Christmas Parade” after the organizers of the Candlelight Parade were forced to cancel, and replace it with a virtual version, Jahn said.

The first night they only had five vehicles, but by the second night their fleet had doubled and 16 vehicles participated last night (Dec. 9).

Jahn knows three more will join their ranks tonight. Friday is the event’s final night.

“I tell you the joy and everything I’ve been getting bringing it to the kids … It feels amazing,” he said. “It’s been really well received.”

Jahn said their planned-out routes start at 7 p.m., and for around an hour they slowly cruise around town yelling Merry Christmas, honking their horns and playing Christmas tunes.

The Christmas fleet’s Thursday route is highlighted on the right in green, and the Friday route is on the far right in orange.

Missionites will hear the “Awoooga” from Jahn’s horn first (as Rudolph always leads the pack), followed by music and honking from the rest of the fleet.

“Unfortunately, we can’t come down everyone’s street, we don’t have the time,” he said. “If you can, just get your family in the vehicle and watch us drive by and honk and flash your lights.”

He said this event feels special because it’s completely non-commercialized. Many people on social media have wanted to make donations to them, but Jahn said they won’t accept anything because that’s not what its about. He said he would rather see donations go to the Christmas Bureau or the food bank.

The fleet doesn’t stop or get out of their vehicles, and everyone is wearing a mask, Jahn said, adding the event is strictly for Mission and he doesn’t want people coming from outside of town.

“This is for us, the locals, for Mission, just to say how much I love Mission and how much the other people involved love Mission.”

RELATED: Candlelight Parade cancelled: Will now be a virtual event


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasCoronavirusMission

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The group decided to begin the "Light up the Night Christmas Parade" after the organizers of the Candlelight Parade were forced to cancel their parade, and replace it with a virtual version, Jahn said. Submitted photo.

The group decided to begin the "Light up the Night Christmas Parade" after the organizers of the Candlelight Parade were forced to cancel their parade, and replace it with a virtual version, Jahn said. Submitted photo.

Submitted photo.

Just Posted

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice, shown here with the Fraser Valley Rush, has committed to the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team. (Tiffany Luke photo)
Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice signs with MacEwan University Griffins

Local women’s hockey prospect set to join women’s hockey team later this year

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Abbotsford’s Canwest Aero Inc. is offering two pilot training scholarships to celebrate the company’s opening at the Abbotsford International Airport
Abbotsford aviation company offering two free pilot scholarships

Canwest Aero Inc. giving away pair of scholarships valued at $2,500 each

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

Most Read