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As It Was: Klamath Falls Creates Annual Snowflake Festival

On a snowy wintery day in 1984, three friends were enjoying coffee at a Klamath Falls coffee shop and chatting about televised Christmas parades held around the United States.  One asked, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a parade like that in Klamath Falls?”

Letters were soon written inviting 50 community leaders to a meeting to discuss the proposal, and the celebration was born.

Lots of questions needed to be answered.  The name would be the Klamath Snowflake Festival.  But the daunting challenge was to overshadow the negative dreary weather by emphasizing community spirit, patriotism, and the real meaning of Christmas.

As the date neared, the organizers were optimistic but unsure if the town would be enthusiastic.  Their fears dissipated when eager crowds turned out for the previous night’s tree-lighting ceremony, singing of Christmas carols, the Marine Band, and Santa.  The following evening thousands of people watched the parade, and weatherman Willard Scott even advertised the celebration on the nationally televised Today Show.

Thirty-four years later the winter festival has become the largest in Oregon.

Sources: “Snowflake Festival Parade." Herald and News, 5 Dec. 2013 [Klamath Falls] , www.heraldandnews.com/./snowflake-festival./article_fa42b21a-5d6d-11e3-. Accessed 22 Nov. 2018; "About the Klamath Falls Snowflake Festival." Snowflake Festival Klamath Falls, OR, 2018, www.klamathsnowflake.com/history. Accessed 22 Nov. 2018.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.