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Turning golf carts into sleighs
Louise Rodriguez puts the finishing touches on her decorated golf cart during Del Webb at Woodbridges parade of lights on Wednesday. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Dave Ristau opted for a pair of oversized tricycles instead of the golf carts that were the norm during Del Webb’s annual Christmas Parade Thursday night.

Decorated by his wife Debbie, the stretched out cycles featured an elaborate wreath ornately attached to the handlebars and an elf that was loosely attached to the basket on the rear – a matching get-up for the two that have worked to get involved in the Woodbridge social scene since moving from Modesto.

Ristau himself didn’t even plan on being a part of the Del Webb community prior to making the move – keeping the same friends and social scene that they previously had thanks to CPA business in Modesto. All of that, however, changed when he made the move.

“It’s just such a great group of people and I really enjoy being a part of it,” he said. “There’s so much fun to be had, and everybody is so friendly and welcoming and that’s something that I wasn’t expecting – I had no intentions of being a part of this here in Manteca when we first moved here. These people changed that.”

According to event organizer Sandy George, roughly 40 entrants decorated their own golf carts and took them through the streets of the community so that residents can enjoy the show.

It also, she says, gives the golf cart crew the chance to enjoy each of the light displays on the individual houses, and allows people to get together.

“It’s just a fun event where people get the chance to come out early and see how other people might have decorated their golf cart,” George said. “It’s kind of a social event, and when we go out through the streets we get to see the lights on the houses while the people get to take in the lights from the carts.

“It’s just one of those events that makes this an awesome place to live, and I’m happy to be able to call it home.”

Carolyn Fagan agreed.

With red lights wrapped around the square tubing on her golf cart, Fagan waited patiently in line for the procession to start rolling through the streets of Del Webb – led by a small flat-bed trailer armed with carolers that served as the pace vehicle for the 40-plus carts that followed behind.

Events like the one held Wednesday, Fagan said, help make being a part of the Del Webb community special, and help make the holiday season that much more fun because it’s shared and enjoyed with others.

“Things like this give you the chance to meet other people, and that’s what I like about living here – activities like this,” she said. “It’ll be four years this month that we first moved here, but we didn’t get to do this the first year – everything was still in boxes. But now we can, and even though the kids are grown family is still a big thing for us during the holidays. It’s all about getting together – and eating. You can’t forget the eating part.”