Thousands of people gathered in Turlock last night for the city's annual Downtown Christmas Parade. Sponsored by Turlock Firefighters Local #2434 and co-sponsored by Turlock Convention and Visitors Bureau, this year’s parade was a loud and spirited holiday bash.
This year’s theme was “Rock’n Through the Holidays,” and a number of floats had dancers dressed fit for sock hops that skipped alongside them. There were lights, bands, horses, and stylish old cars. The procession was finished, of course, with a jolly Santa atop the iconic Turlock fire engine.
“It’s great for the community in the sense of the number of spectators that come every year,” said Karen Packwood, Turlock Recreation Supervisor. “They’re not just from Turlock but from other local cities as well.”
There were floats from a wide range of Turlock schools that shone their brightest down Main Street, and the sidewalks were bustling with people packed shoulder-to-shoulder. Behind them glowed the festively-decorated windows of the Main Street shops.
“People can support the local businesses,” Packwood added.
Indeed, there were a number of local shops with their doors flung open, along with several area food trucks parked along the street and a Turlock Mobile and Wedding DJ playing Christmas songs.
The Saucy Girls food truck was one of the vendors, boasting a number of artfully crafted foods including a bacon-wrapped hotdog with chipotle aioli, topped with pineapple and crunched kettle chips.
Lisa’s Cookie Jar, just off of Main Street on S. Broadway, was another one of the businesses open. They sold a number of delicious cookies—including oatmeal raisin with maple and bacon—and offered hot chocolate for only $1.50. They also added peppermint for no additional charge. According to owner Lisa Fernandes, the hot chocolates were a big seller, especially due to the cold.
“Lots of people came in, mostly families – children getting the fancy cookies,” said Fernandes. “It was nice. [The parade] seems like its getting bigger and better and it’s very nice for families.”
The following were named winners for the parade, from antique cars and floats to horses and youth groups:
Antique Vehicle: Casale Family & Friends
Commercial Entry: Yonan's Jewelers
Equestrian: RD Ranch
Themed Entry: The Rock Church
Unique Entry: Off Road Renegades
Youth Group: Medeiros Elementary School
Best Overall Use of Lights: Yonan's Jewelers
For more information on upcoming Turlock events, contact Turlock Parks, Recreation & Facilities at 209-668-5594.
Rockin' attendees of the Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade and this year's winner for best Themed Entry, The Rock Church. 12-06-13
Photo: Chris Machado