Manteca’s Christmas parade typically draws 7,000 plus spectators squeezed into six blocks of Yosemite Avenue through downtown Manteca.
That would make it a ground zero for the spread of COVID-19 — a disease that wasn’t part of anyone’s lingo last December.
Despite the pandemic the Manteca Chamber of Commerce plans to stage the 48th edition of its holiday parade that is the longest running twilight parade in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
And if the San Joaquin County Health Department says no to the parade planned this year for Saturday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m. due to spectators being practically shoulder to shoulder the chamber will simply switch to a format where the spectators pass by and the entries stay static.
That’s because the fallback plan is to use a venue such as Woodward Avenue east of Main Street that is wider and have the entries lined up along the street while spectators drive by in their vehicles to allow for social distancing.
“A number of people we’ve talked to that enter each year are thrilled with the idea,” noted Chamber Executive Director Joann Beattie of the drive-by parade fallback option,
The entry fee is $50 for the parade themed “Home for the Holidays”.
The deadline for entries is Dec. 1. The entry form can be found at the chamber’s website at manteca.org.
The parade is breaking with a longstanding tradition and will take place the second Saturday in December instead of the first.
That will allow the chamber to separate its two big holiday events — Christmas in the Park and the Christmas parade.
This year’s Christmas in the Park will take place Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
It will include food trucks, Christmas tree competitions, children’s activities, petting zoo, pony rides, Disney princesses, carnival rides as well as craft and gift vendors.
Beattie said the chamber is working to make sure all county health requirements are met that may include controlled entry.
Beattie noted by spacing out the two events it not only will be easier for the chamber to handle but it will spread out the holiday cheer as most Christmas activities in Manteca happen the first week of December.
Information on the parade or park event can be obtained by contacting Beattie at 209-823-6121 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry forms for the parade and Christmas in the Park can be downloaded from the chamber’s website at manteca.org.
Drive thru trick or
treat set for Oct. 29
The chamber is also working on a plan to make sure trick or treating can take place this year given COVID-19 rules as outlined this week by the Centers for Disease Control lists traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door or having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out of cars lined up in large parking lots as high risk Halloween activities.
It is conducting a free drive thru trick or treat in connection with a separate drive thru dinner on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 1463 Moffat Blvd. in the Manteca Commerce Park near the Crossroads Community Church.
Beattie said the chamber is looking for sponsors at $50 apiece to have tables for the event as well as to supply candy for their tables. The sponsors will receive two dinner tickets.
Among the event sponsors so far are Gary Singh for Manteca City Council and Manteca Insurance & Financial Services.
While there is no charge for those driving through the trick or treat line, there is a $15 charge for dinner that will be distributed from as second line.
The Fagundes catered dinner includes tri-tip, chicken pasta marinara, California mixed vegetables as well as a roll and butter for $15 a ticket.
Both events take place Oct. 29 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Kids are encouraged to be in costume.
Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at eventbrite.com/e/drive-thru-dinner-trick-or-treat –tickets-118377001799.
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