Ringing Out the Good News of Christmas
During the 2019 Christmas season, the Village Church Grace Notes Handbells ensemble represented the College Place Church in the two local Christmas parades: the first on Thursday, Dec. 5, in College Place, Washington, and the second on Saturday evening, Dec. 7, in the annual Macy’s Parade of Lights in nearby Walla Walla.
Enthusiastic and appreciative crowds viewed both events during crisp, cool, snowless evenings. Parade floats, featuring various holiday themes, received prizes for "best of" in various categories. Village Church was awarded Best in Show in the College Place parade as well as Best in Show in the church entries category in the Walla Walla Macy’s Parade.
Chad Washburn, Village Church outreach coordinator, designed the unique float, ably assisted by church deacon and construction business owner Larry Serl. A forecast of rain for parade night inspired addition of a protective canopy covered with lights that augmented the float’s festive appeal.
Handbell ringers, dressed in 19th-century attire as carolers out to serenade their neighbors with Christmas music, were accompanied by an electronic sound system that sent the beautiful music far and wide. A final touch was a large banner along the length of the float advertising the Christmas vespers at Village Church presented by church choir, handbells and orchestra under the direction of Terry Koch, minister of music, and his wife, Terri, choir/piano accompanist and bell-ringer.