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The charm of a small town

After Saturday evening’s Lighted Tractor Parade, I wanted to share messages of love and joy for Calistoga, the greatest community we all love so much.

  • Saturday evening was quite cold. As I stood 5 hours to preserve my vantage point for the parade, many people whom I knew stopped by to speak with me. It was a joyful time to catch up, talk of the parade and share in the uplifting holiday season. I even made new friends with guests and “out-of-towners” who were here because they heard our parade is “among the greatest in the country.”
  • When crowds quickly surrounded the parade route, I watched as our local firefighters cleared room on the back of their fire engine for young kids to stand on and watch. One young boy exclaimed, “This is the best parade seat ever!”
  • Posted on the side of a parade float, one family has been working in Napa Valley for over 120 years … what a history!
  • Watching the Oakland Police Department’s Motorcycle Unit do “crazy 8s” and “burnouts” reminded me how I will forever be grateful to OPD and the many law enforcement agencies, fire departments and countless others who came to our rescue in October 2017.
  • I spent the entire evening holding my daughter, Eden, for her first parade. Life’s challenges, difficulties and problems fade away during such tender moments.
  • In Calistoga – and very appropriately – Santa Claus rides atop a fire engine!

Once the parade was over, I couldn’t help but feel renewed love and passion for Calistoga. We are so blessed to be part of this community. I have a quote on my desk at work which I remind myself each day. It reads, “You Need to Direct Change in the Most Meaningful Way.” To me, that quote is about the inevitability of change and how we all must seek to direct that change in a way that promotes and preserves this small-town charm, character and authenticity which can be found only in Calistoga.

Happy holidays.

Dylan Feik

Feik is Calistoga’s City Manager.

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