Tis the season for parades, festivals, and — of course — Santa Claus and for those looking to get on the nice list this year, Turlock and its surrounding communities have them covered when it comes to holiday events and parades.
To truly celebrate the time where all is merry, spend an evening with the City of Turlock for the 36th annual Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade. Sponsored by Turlock Firefighters Local #2434 and Turlock Convention and Visitors Bureau, this year’s theme is “A Box Office Christmas” and applause worthy floats will be sure to get five stars from all who see them.
Guests are invited to visit local vendors before the parade at 4 p.m., with the parade itself commencing at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5. Beginning at Canal Drive, floats will travel down historic Main Street to the tune of cheery music that is guaranteed to fill everyone with holiday spirit. For more information, call 668-5594 or visit cityofturlock.org/christmasparade.
Additionally, for those who cannot bear the cold weather, this year’s parade will also be live streamed on LUSOMedia. To watch the parade, gather with friends and family and visit rtpusa.com
“This is a great opportunity for people to come out and kick off the holiday season,” said Senior Recreation Supervisor Karen Packwood.
Although Santa does not plan to drop off his presents until Christmas Eve, the Turlock community can still expect to see him riding through their neighborhoods thanks to Turlock Firefighters. Children, as well as children at heart, can wave to Santa and his elves as they make their visits from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20.
To find out more information about Santa’s tour with Turlock Fire Department, visit cityofturlock.org.
Less than 20 minutes away, guests are also invited on Nov. 29 to the 3rd annual Hughson Christmas Festival. This year’s festival will host over 40 vendors for guests to choose from, one of which that will allow them to literally roast chestnuts over an open fire.
Guests can also have their picture taken with Santa Claus himself, indulge in cannoli, and enjoy the Hughson Christmas parade, which will start at 5:30 p.m. on Hughson Avenue.
After watching lit up farm equipment and members of the Mustang Club roll by during the parade, the Christmas tree lighting and ornament dedication, which allows guests to dedicate one of the tree’s ornaments to someone special, will successfully end the night.
“We write the person’s name on the back of the ornament and hang it on the tree. Once the tree is taken down, we send the ornament to the person who it was dedicated to,” said secretary of Hughson Chamber of Commerce Allison Riggs. “Overall, this event offers an opportunity to experience the spirit of Christmas with family and friends.”
Those interested in finding out more information about the 3rd annual Hughson Christmas Festival can visit hughsonchamber.org.
Hilmar will also have its own holiday celebration with its 10th annual Parade of Lights beginning at 5:55 p.m. on Dec. 6. As the parade travels through subdivisions of the small town, guests can see everything from lit up farm equipment to creatively decorated cars.
“You don’t need big ag equipment to be in the parade, but we love to see those illuminated tractors coming down the street because they’re massive,” said Richard Sargis, who runs the parade with his wife Christine Sargis.
Not only does the parade provide the opportunity to for an entertaining show, it also brings a social aspect to the community. According to Sargis, the town has made it a tradition to host their Christmas parties the night of the parade.
“This parade is not restricted to the wonderment of kids who love a parade, but adults also get a blast out of it,” reported Sargis.
For more information on the Hilmar’s holiday event, visit getbtw.com/hilmar-parade-of-lights.