CALEXICO – Two years ago, Pat and Bob Trout decided to visit the flea market here and were pleasantly surprised when they heard the sound of trumpets.
“We were just shopping when all of a sudden we started to hear music and see all the people line up for the Christmas parade,” said Pat, an Ohio resident who spends the winter season in the Imperial Valley and Yuma. “My husband and I were in band as were our kids, so it’s definitely fun for us to come and see the local bands at this parade.”
Pat and Bob were two of thousands of people who lined the streets of the city Saturday in preparation of this year’s pink-themed Christmas parade.
Tony Tirado, former city mayor and co-grand marshal, said it was snowbirds like the Trouts and the city’s Mexicali neighbors that made his parade experience more enjoyable.
“It’s really fantastic,” Tirado said. “It’s a great party that brings together all of the community, not just Calexico.”
The 74 entries in the parade were all adorned in various shades of pink in support of breast cancer awareness. The parade theme was “Let’s Make It A Pink Christmas.”
“I think the pink theme this year is wonderful,” said Calexico resident Virginia Flores. “My grandmother passed away from cancer so I think it’s very important that the whole community be involved about spreading the word about early detection against any form of cancer.”
This year’s theme also struck a chord with the city’s newly elected mayor.
“I myself am a 10-year breast cancer survivor so I’m especially happy to be here,” said Maritza Hurtado. “It has been a very good year for me and I’m really happy that we’re spreading the word about this serious disease.”
In addition to the mayor, the city’s Relay for Life organization was also happy to participate in the parade.
“Our float represents the different ages of cancer,” said Sylvia Bernal, head of the city’s Relay for Life organization. “Cancer does not respect age, race or color and our float represents that. We have children, we have survivors and we’re hoping that by spreading the word we’ll one day end the need for Relay for Life.”
Staff Writer Karina Lopez can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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