Popcorn and movie icons abounded at this year’s “A Box Office Christmas” parade. The 36th Annual Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade took place at 6:30 p.m. Friday and marched from Canal Drive straight down to historic Main Street.
The roads were cluttered as early as 4 p.m., with Canal Drive virtually inaccessible from the afternoon, onwards. Thousands of Turlockers swarmed to the streets, eating kettle corn or drinking hot chocolate from Lisa’s Cookie Jar.
The weather was much warmer than it had been in previous years, and even though it started to rain part way through the parade, Turlockers remained outside to watch.
The main event proved just as glamorous as a night at the red carpet, with a surprising amount of Grinches, Elsas and the surprising appearance of Cruella DeVille on the Stanislaus Paws float.
The best Antique Entry went to Casale Family & Friends, while the best Commercial Entry went to Fields of Ice — Turlock’s ice skating rink that’s triumphantly returning for its second year. Stanislaus Farm Supply pranced down Main Street and summarily won the first place in Equestrian.
The first place in Themed Entry went to Knights of Columbus for one of the best “A Christmas Story” floats at the parade, boasting a monolithic leg lamp and several signs along the sides with quotes such as “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” and “I triple dog dare ya!” And what would it be without the large crate marked as “FRAGILE” that their impressively large lamp presumably came in? Knights of Columbus also won Best Overall Use of Lights.
The most Unique Entry went to Cunningham Gifted and Talented while the best Youth Group entry was undoubtedly Wakefield Elementary’s “Wakefield’s Frozen Wonderland,” replete with a smiling Elsa, illuminated castle and lighted trees.
36th Annual Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade Winners
Antique Entry: Casale Family & Friends
Commercial Entry: Fields of Ice
Equestrian Entry: Stanislaus Farm Supply
Themed Entry: Knights of Columbus
Unique Entry: Cunningham Gifted and Talented
Youth Group: Wakefield Elementary
Best Overall Use of Lights: Knights of Columbus
The Christmas Parade wouldn't be complete without a visit from Santa Claus.
Yonan's Jewelers lit up the parade with their diamond inspired float.