Too cold for Baker? Snow way

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board December 13, 2013 08:35 am

The wintry storm — “Arctic blast 2013!” if you prefer the hyperbolic approach of TV news — swept across Oregon these past several days, leaving dozens of cancellations in its wake.

West of the Cascades, where many residents react to a skiff of snow almost as though it were radioactive dust, schools closed, highways became parking lots and officials warned people to stay inside lest they come down with frostbite or worse.

We Eastern Oregonians, though, being accustomed to frigid weather, are not so easily daunted.

Not much would get done around here, from November to May Day, if we let the climate push us around.

And so, even as the National Weather Service was dispatching wind chill warnings, Baker City’s annual Christmas Twilight Parade and community Christmas tree lighting went off as scheduled Saturday evening on Main Street.

Floats crunched over the snow-covered concrete, bearing carolers and wavers and, of course, Santa himself.

Kids collected candy just as they do during the summertime Miners Jubilee and Shrine parades — albeit with slightly less dexterity due to the thick coats and gloves.

The evening was a tribute not only to Baker residents’ community spirit, but to the doggedness of the volunteers whose efforts are so vital to so many events.

Although the event’s sponsor, Historic Baker City, is without a director, board chairman Gene Stackle and volunteer parade boss Matthew Koppenhaver, despite dealing with rumors that the event wouldn’t happen, made sure it did, and that it was a success.