Holiday giving starts tonight with a bang

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The Coeur d’Alene Resort Light Show, so bright that it reportedly can be viewed from the face of Mars, will officially kick off the holiday season when the sun goes down today at 5.

This is one of the most eagerly anticipated evenings of the year for those who will brave the elements to watch a Christmas parade, light candles, and count down to a thunderous eruption of fireworks and a bazillion watts of electricity surging through more than a million and a half lights and displays.

The event, attended by royalty from the North Pole and overseen by Brad Hagadone, president of The Hagadone Corporation (and an owner of this newspaper), is an annual gift to the community from Duane and Lola Hagadone and the rest of their family. This year’s fireworks display is expected to be the biggest and best yet — and that’s saying something. It’s an emphatic and heartfelt “thank you” from the largest private employers in the area, who are returning some of the goodwill the community has bestowed upon them for many years.

The Resort Light Show typically draws about 30,000 people, but this year the crowd might seem appreciably larger. That’s because the Eloe family will join the fun.

While Brad Hagadone emcees the celebration, the guest of honor will be John Eloe, director of facilities for The Hagadone Corp. Eloe helped oversee the $10 million renovation at The Resort earlier this year and is responsible for the Christmas displays from The Resort to the Hagadone corporate building all the way across the lake to Santa’s workshop.

The crowd might seem larger because Eloe and his wife, Kyeri, will have their kids with them — all 10 of them: Lauren, Augustine, Sebastian, Judith, Bernadette, Jane, Maximilian, Audrey, Peter and Paul. One more and the football team can take the field.

But in all seriousness, tonight’s festivities are not about business. They’re about joy, about celebrating not just the most wonderful time of the year, but the people who make it so joyful.

So look around you as you sing. Take in the spirit that has brought us all together. And most of all, file away everything you can remember about this night. It’s a gift you’ll want to savor always.

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