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Local Christmas parade unites community, celebrates milestone

Kyle Clem | The Feather Online

Vintage cars lined the streets of the 90th Annual Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade, celebrating Christmas of the past, Dec. 7.

As the beginning of the parade grew closer, people lined the streets, eagerly awaiting the 90th Annual Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade, Dec. 7. Participants of the parade donned looks of the past. These featured 80s style MC Hammer pants, 50s inspired pink poodle skirts and 70s era tie dye shirts. Vintage muscle cars decorated the street, performing hydraulics tricks for spectators, young and old.

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the parade, the theme selected featured floats through the decades, ranging from the 1920s to the 2000s. The parade featured participants involving local businesses and organizations from around the San Joaquin Valley. Along with these institutions, bands from local high schools marched and played for spectators.

For some spectators, this parade marked a first for their children. For Laurie Cortez, her daughter participated in the parade for the first time. Along with being able to see her daughter participate on the float again, Cortez enjoyed seeing all the bands play and hopes to see even more next year.

“It’s been a while since I’ve come,” Cortez said. “It seems smaller this year than it has in the past. It was pretty cool to see this year because my daughter was in it, it was her first year in the parade on the Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church float. That was amazing to be able to see. I also really liked seeing the bands and hearing them play. Next year, I think it would be really cool if they brought in more bands and more schools.”

The following tweet features Downtown Fresno sharing recap on the event’s festivities.

Husband and wife Stephen and Angie Castanon came for their first time and enjoyed the experience. Although surprised by the different feeling of the parade, Angie enjoyed seeing the kids that participated.

“I thought it was good,” Angie said. “It was a little different than what I was expecting coming in, but it was fun overall. I think my favorite part was getting to see all of the kids’ faces. They were giving out free donuts to them so I thought that was really cool to see.”

City of Fresno

Various local high school marching bands participated in the Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade, Dec. 7.

Stephen appreciated the feeling of community that the parade brought and enjoyed seeing the various cars.

“It was good to see people come back downtown and seeing their involvement down here,” Stephen said. “I enjoyed seeing all the smiles on kids’ faces as they were in the parade. I really liked seeing all of the cars, all the old cars, because you’re here downtown and it’s all able to come together. That was really good to see.”

To conclude the parade, they brought in one of the figures of the Christmas season, Santa Claus. Riding high on his sleigh, the man known as Saint Nick greeted viewers along the parade route.

Throughout the month of December, several more holiday events take place throughout Fresno, for more information on these events, read PROMO: Christmas season brings along various events, opportunities for engagement.

For more articles read Cindy Lane invites visitors to Clovis area for Christmas displays and Language relates to personal identities, cultural differences.

Kyle Clem can be reached via Twitter @KyleClem5 and via email.

The following slideshow features images of the Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade, Dec. 7.

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