Parade organizers cited "dangerously cold temperatures and winds" for the reason in their announcement by Twitter.

The event was canceled, rather than delayed, because "it's just too much to try to make it work for next week," Arnold said.

The pre-parade Jingle Bell Run also has been canceled, said organizers of the event that had 1,200 participants registered. Instead, a Jingle Bell Social event will be held at The Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p,m.

Crooked River Ranch also canceled its planned parade, though organizers said indoor activities will proceed as planned.

Word came also that Saturday night's La Pine Light Parade has been pushed back a week, to Saturday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. But Madras carried on with its cold nighttime parade Saturday.

Also, the Cascade Chorale said it's 2 p.m. Holiday Magic concert at Summit HS was on as planned, but the one scheduled for 7 p.m. was canceled due to the very cold weather and road-driving concerns.

In Redmond, Ridgeview High officials said their planned victory parade for the state-champion Ravens football team also was postponed, to a date not yet set.

But even without a downtown parade, many holiday events were going on. Redmond, for example, has a "charm stroll" open house involving 21 businesses, while Santa Claus will be a DynaCore Fitness. Mrs. Santa Claus will be reading to the kids at Paulina Springs Books.

People taking part in the "charm stroll" were asked to bring items such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, hats, gloves etc. These items will be put into "Blessing Bags" that the Girl Scouts are making. They are working with the Redmond police and St. Vincent de Paul and will be handing them out to 100 homeless families.

Among the 100-plus snow-depth reports to NewsChannel 21's Facebook page late Friday: Seven to eight inches or more and 6.5 degrees in La Pine, 5.5 inches in southwest Bend, 4-5 inches in southeast Bend, 4.5 inches in Sisters and 8 inches in Gilchrist.

Central Oregonians got just what they were warned about Friday -- snowfall added to the recent days of bitter cold, making for tricky driving for many and a rash of fortunately no- or minor-injury crashes across the High Desert.

While no school closures or delays were reported Friday, there was a record low in Sisters of -5, 10 degrees below the previous Dec. 6 record of 5, set back in 1973. John Day also broke a record at -4, four degrees below the 0 reading on the date in 1992.

NewsChannel 21 Chief Meteorologist Bob Shaw said the Friday morning snow showers would get heavier through the day, bringing up to a half-foot of snow in some areas by nightfall.

Add in temperatures only rising to the teens, and NE winds of 10-15 mph, and it can be pretty nasty to be out in for long, or drive long distances.

Shaw said overnight snow showers could add 2-4 inches of snow as lows drop below zero yet again for most -- meaning wind chills easily of -20 or worse. And yet, Bend's Christmas Parade (and Redmond's Ridgeview HS football victory parade) are expected to proceed, with everyone bundling up to be safe.

La Pine and Sunriver schools delayed classes for two hours Thursday morning due to problems with school buses not starting up in the bitter, sub-zero cold that hit a reported -18 in La Pine and nearly set a power-use record for Central Electric Cooperative. And the frigid onslaught is far from over.

It's a problem the Bend-La Pine Schools have had in the past when very cold temperatures arise.

School district transportation officials told NewsChannel 21 they were prepping for Friday to make sure the problem doesn't happen again. -- and apparently it worked.

"Tomorrow, we will be starting a little earlier," said Transportation Director Denice Blake.  We normally start at 5 in the morning, and this morning we could have used just a little extra time. And so we will be starting even earlier tomorrow morning, getting the buses to start."

At 6 a.m. Thursday, National Weather Service reporting stations in La Pine were reporting -10 and -11-degree readings. and it wasn't much "warmer" in Sunriver, where it was -5, Bend Airport, where it was -4, or Sisters Airport, where it was -7. To the north, Culver was at -2.

By 7 a.m., Bend had dropped to -6 and Redmond to -3, while La Pine stayed at -11 though one Website commenter, Brittany Bevel, said it was -18 at their place. Another said their water pipes are frozen.

Late Thursday, the NWS issued a winter storm warning for 5-7 inches of snow in Central Oregon and 6-8 inches in the John Day Highlands. Forecasters warned of dangerous driving on Highway 97 in the Bend-Redmond area and on Highway 395 around Seneca.

The snowy Friday is followed by a wind chill watch for Central and northeast Oregon from 10 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday, warning of wind-chill readings of 20 to 25 degrees below zero.

With near-record power use, Central Electric Cooperative reminded members Thursday of ways they can minimize the impacts of single-digit and below-zero temperatures. 

CEC's system load Thursday morning reached 221 megawatts, the second highest in co-op history, officials said. The record of 242.3 megawatts was set in December 2009.

"Everyone uses more electricity during cold snaps like the one we are now experiencing," said Dave Markham, CEC president and chief executive officer.  "There are steps consumers can take to help minimize the impacts and be prepared in the event an outage occurs."

Preparation tips include:

  • Draw closed any drapes or curtains to retain warmth.
  • Maintain a constant thermostat level, don't cycle it up and down.
  • Close off any rooms not in use.
  • Dress warmly indoors to increase comfort and reduce the temptation to raise your thermostat.
  • Be sure foundation vents are closed to prevent freezing air from circulating around water pipes in the crawl space.

Harsh weather can create problems with the electrical system and an outage could result.

If you experience an outage:

  • Keep the house closed as much as possible; limit in and out traffic.