YAKIMA, WA - For nearly two decades now a group of volunteers have been lighting up neighborhoods with hundreds of thousands of lights on wheels. Nothing says Christmas cheer quite like roaring engines, honking horns and so, so, so much tape to hold down those lights.
"We spread Christmas cheer," said Rene Jarvis who takes part with the full-tilt lit Critter Cab. "I don't know who gets a bigger kick out of it. us or them."
"Well this is like a family tradition, I guess you could say," said Alan Benny. "Because most of us have become family."
In fact, some are family. Rene's big brother decorates and drives the famous Coca-Cola truck.
"I've been doing this 18 years," said Butch Jarvis, Jr. "Mike from GS Long is one year ahead of me."
"Yeah that's how this whole Christmas truckin' around the neighborhood got started was just one night I just started going through the neighborhoods. We started with one truck, then two trucks and now we're where we're at now," said Mike Murri who wears a shirt that says G.S. Long Santa Division.
It depends on the year but for 2020 there are more than a dozen vehicles: fire engines, semis, vans. If you can light it you can drive it with them.
"The West Valley Fire Department this year they called me up and asked me how do we get involved I said just show up," said Butch.
The only rule is no going out before Thanksgiving and not after Christmas, either. Nearly every night in between they are driving around neighborhoods spreading Christmas cheer.
"It's all about the kids. You'd be surprised how old kids are when they see us coming down the road. We could see 40, 50 year old kids going down the road," said Rene.
These men and women are all volunteers who spend hours and hours driving around in December and weeks and months building their displays.
"I like to change it about every three years O'll change it. It takes me about a year to decide what I want to do. I did this design because I wanted to make it look like a present," said Butch.
A present for all of us from Roslyn to Walla Walla and nearly everywhere in between.
"Merry Christmas to everybody from the Yakima Christmas trucks, the Lower Valley trucks... from all of us, Merry Christmas," said Rene.