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Rain didnt thin crowds for parade
Parade Grand Marshal Joe Pellegrino and his wife Patricia came prepared to lead the rain-soaked Manteca Twilight Christmas Parade. - photo by HIME ROMERO
A little rain – strike that – a lot of rain didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit for Manteca’s 38th annual twilight holiday parade.

“It was amazing,” said Manteca Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Debby Moorhead who coordinated the parade. “Hardly anyone left.”

A steady rain started falling Friday just 10 minutes before the 5 p.m. start time. Even so, only a few entries pulled out. As for the spectators, nobody left.

“They all came prepared with big umbrellas and tarp,” said Moorhead who said the crowds was between 7,000 and 8,000 or about the same as last year’s parade.

Last year the parade was interrupted by a downtown barber shop fire just a half hour before it was scheduled to start. That prompted a rerouting of the parade and an hour late start. This year the drenching marred the parade but didn’t dampen the spirit.

“Fire and water, we had them both,” Moorhead quipped.

Moorhead noted everyone in the parade carried on - bands played, kids twirled batons, and others marched with big smiles on their faces.
“Kids love the rain,” she said.

The Salida School band instructor told Moorhead that at the end of the parade he was literally turning drums over to allow water to pour off of them.

Moorhead was also impressed with the job volunteers did this year especially since they had only half of the needed manpower.

“When it started raining, all of the paperwork was wrecked and they just had to go on their own,” she said.

Among the die-hard volunteers that braved the rain were Marvin Brocchini - who also donated $100 to help sponsor the parade - Brad Moorhead, Annie Peterson, Bradley Moorhead, and Joann Beattie. Judging this year were Chuck Crutchfield, Suzanne Mallory, and Gail Freeze.

Doctors Hospital of Manteca was a $500 sponsor while Financial Center Credit Union gave $200. Eddie’s Pizza, the 133 Club, and PL Fry & Son were $100 sponsors while Coty Councilman John Harris gave $50.

Auto Clubs
1st: Central Valley FOG

(Auto) Decorated Vehicle
1st: Kiwanis Club of Lodi, 2nd: LCC Crown of Life Car & Bike Ministry, 3rd PG&E

Color Guard – Open
1st: VFW Post 6311, 2nd: East Union High School, 3rd: Manteca High School

Drill Team Open
1st: East Union High School, 2nd: Manteca High School, 3rd:  Weston Ranch High School

ID Unit
1st: East Union High School, 2nd: Manteca High School

Miscellaneous (Novelty)
1st: Triple Threat Performing Arts,  2nd: Cortez Martial Arts Academy, 3rd: Girl Scouts - Heart of Central California

1st: Hard Knocks Customs

Musical Unit – Elementary
1st: Stella Brockman School, 2nd: Lincoln Elementary School, 3rd: Veritas School    

Musical Unit – High School
1st: Manteca High School, 2nd: East Union High School, 3rd: Lathrop High School

Novelty 12 & Under
1st: Cub Scout Pack 423

Novelty 13 & Up
1st: Second Harvest Food Bank, 2nd: Happy Wheelers, 3rd: S.J. County Sheriff

Twirling Solo
 (Jr. – 13 & under)
1st: Razzle Dazzle Baton    
Twirling Group
(Jr. – 13 & under)
1st: Graffiti Sweeties

Twirling Group (Senior)
1st: Graffiti Sweeties

1st: Manteca CERT, 2nd: Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis, 3rd: Relay for Life

1st: Sequoia Baptist Church

1st: Cub Scout Pack 422, 2nd: Cub Scout Pack 432, 3rd: Calla 4-H

1st: Prestige Senior Living, 2nd: H&R Block

Plain Western
1st: David Bricknell

Horse Drawn Vehicle - 4 Hitch Wagon
1st: Lyndsey Brown Clydesdales  Rock Crushers

Future Horsemen
1st: Hailey Lopes, 2nd:    Madison O’Mears Snipes

Novelty/Fiesta Group
1st: C.S.H.A. Royalty Group

Mounted Group - Open
1st: San Joaquin Valley Rangers Inc.

Sheriff Posse
1st:  Merced County Sheriff Posse