The winter evening chill was the last thing on the mind of College of Idaho senior music major Dallin Kroon as he marched down Blaine Street into downtown Caldwell pounding on his drum alongside the rest of the C of I Marching Band during the 15th Annual Treasure Valley Night Light Parade on Dec. 2.
“We were very, very first,” Kroon said. “But with all the playing we did, we didn’t even feel cold.”
For the second year in a row, Kroon and the other members of the band took their place in the popular annual parade, which is organized by the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce every holiday season as a way to light up the winter skies with the rest of the Treasure Valley community. An estimated 30,000 people from around the valley gathered into Caldwell for the parade, which featured over 2,000 people and 84 community floats from around the valley decked out in bright lights and holiday-themed costumes.
C of I Director of Bands Dr. Luke Strother said the band was first invited to participate last year, which made the band eager to return and participate this year. He said the band intends to make it an annual tradition to represent the College in the parade and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
“It’s great to represent the College to the Community at large,” Strother said. “Many of the people in attendance might not see our marching band at football games. Kids at the parade delight in our shiny horns and big drums, and many of them march in place as we go by. Perhaps once they grow up they’ll join our ranks?”
The marching band wasn’t the only representation the College had at the parade this year, as C of I President Dr. Bob Hoover and his wife, Leslee, were selected by the Chamber to serve as the parade’s Grand Marshalls in recognition for their work in the community since their return to the College this year.
“It is a spectacular event,” Bob Hoover said. “The lights downtown on Indian Creek were quite remarkable as well. I attended the second parade back in 2003 and several years thereafter. It is amazing at how much larger and more stunning it has become.”
For Kroon, a graduating senior, the parade served as a fun way to help finish out his final year with the band, particularly in front of such an excited crowd.
“There were so many people there,” Kroon said. “It was super cool to see everyone come out and support us and the band when I think most of the people there probably don’t have as much opportunity to do so.”
The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.