Maxwell Country Christmas lights up the holidays

Maxwell’s Country Christmas last Saturday, for all the spirit and enthusiasm from the town, could very well have come without ribbons or tags – and even without packages, boxes, or bags.

But like in Dr. Seuss’ wonderfully quirky and well-loved 1957 book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the grouchy, bitter, cave-dwelling creature, whose heart grew three sizes on Christmas Day, swooped down from Mount Crumpit- bicycles, trees, presents, pantookas, pampoogas and pop guns in tow – to save the spirit of the season.

Dupue Warehouse’s spectacular, multi-vehicle, Grinch-themed entry – complete with Whoville and Whos – won the “winner take all” Best of Show trophy in the second annual Maxwell Tractor Light Parade.

The Tractor Light Parade is the highlight of Maxwell County Christmas, which also includes vendors selling handmade crafts, Christmas gifts, baked goods, hot chocolate, kettle corn, nuts, and an assortment of food, said Maxwell Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Miller.
“When I look down the street, I’m always amazed at how many people are here,” Miller said.

There were about 15 elaborate entrees in the parade, including businesses like Richter Aviation, Close Lumber, and Reading Oil, as well as local farming families, Maxwell Fire Department, and a float that was a team effort of Carrancho Farms, Sites JPA, and Family Water Alliance.

Nina Perry Rudiger, who organizes the Light Parade, thanked everyone who participated, and said she was blown away by their creativity.

“I’m just so thankful that everybody is so excited about the parade and are supportive of this event,” Rudiger said.

Dupue Warehouse, with Brandon Neal driving a large Caterpillar, may have been the big winner, but the Whoville spectacular wasn’t necessarily the favorite among kids.

Landon Barrett, 8, said he thought the entire parade was good, but his favorite was the Star Wars vehicle, a New Holland tractor driven by “Jedi” Wayne Mathis, from which the recognizable Star Wars theme could be heard a block away.

Barrett, who is a third grader at Maxwell Elementary School, said he is anxiously waiting to see “The Last Jedi,” the latest movie in the Star Wars franchise, which is in theaters now.
Saturday night’s second annual Maxwell Country Christmas wasn’t quite as cold as the inaugural event last year, but vendors, participants, and spectators did face a higher than usual wind.

The wind, however, wasn’t enough to spoil the event, which many people said was even better than Williams and Colusa’s Christmas celebrations, because the gathering was more intimate, and not so sprawled out.

Lylah Barrett, 9, said she loved Maxwell County Christmas, which included a visit from Santa Claus, a performance of the Maxwell Jr. High/Senior High band, and the lighting of the town tree. “Everyone gathers in the town, and I think that is really cool,” Lylah said. ■