Christmas came early on the streets of El Centro, as families and children lined the sidewalks of Main and Eighth streets during the 67th annual Christmas Parade on Saturday.
Cheers and excitement filled the faces of children as they waved along with the parade participants who stopped occasionally to sing songs, dance, hit the boxing ring or even catch a football.
The parade fun is annually coordinated by the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau and Los Vigilantes service club.
It went really well, nothing went wrong, but the real job is getting every float organized on track, said parade grand marshal and Los Vigilantes Ramrod Guillermo Valencia.
In about a week organizers will start working on next year’s parade, Valencia said.
This year’s theme, “A Storybook Christmas,” brought about a variety of fun-filled Christmas floats that told the story of Christmas.
“Our float is the greatest Christmas story ever told, because it’s the story of Christ,” Irma Pasten of St. Mary’s School said regarding the school’s float.
Other parade entertainment featured drill teams, school bands, soccer teams and, of course, Santa Claus.
“I wanted to come out here to bring my son to see the parade for the first time, see Santa and just wave to everyone,” El Centro resident Adrian Gonzales said.
Other audience members were pleasantly surprised by the event.
“We were just going to have lunch at the park, we had no idea about the parade,” El Centro resident Lyn Pangiliana said.
“We’ve really enjoyed it; the parade is really beautiful, and amazing,” Pangiliana said.
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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