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  • Connie Miller

Festival of Lights Parade - Electrified!

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Festival of Lights Parade cleans up their act by making the switch to batteries.

We all enjoy the beloved Festival of Lights Parade, the Los Altos tradition for decades. But behind all the bright lights and music have been dozens of gas-powered generators – until this year. These 2-stroke generator engines are noisy and smelly, disrupting the parade-going experience. Moreover, the oil and gas mixture they burn emit unsafe levels of smoke, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter, most notably exposing our vulnerable children who represent a large part of the Parade audience.

Chuck Piercey, a new GreenTown Los Altos member, and board member of The Festival of Lights Parade Association (FOLPA) along with over a dozen high school student volunteers, saw the opportunity to decarbonize the floats by replacing the outmoded generators with batteries. With funding from GreenTown Los Altos, The Anne Wojcicki Foundation, Silicon Valley Clean Energy and various individuals, Chuck and his team of students were able to convert 21 of the 24 floats to batteries to provide a better, healthier experience for all parade goers this year.

Said Chuck Piercey of the initiative, “This was a no brainer. It was important to FOLPA that we support our youth concerned about climate change and provide a healthier, more enjoyable experience to all who come to see the Parade. The student volunteers all learned about these benefits and battery technology during the process. Scientists estimate we only have six years to greatly decarbonize our planet. FOLPA hopes getting rid of our generators is just the first of many things we can do to make our Parade ‘greener’.”

GreenTown applauds Chuck for seeing the need and reaching out to GreenTown and others to help make the project happen.

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