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City prepares for annual Christmas parade
Christmas parade
The 41st annual Downtown Turlock Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 6. The City will start taking parade entry registrations on Oct. 1 (Journal file photo).

The last vestiges of summer may still be lingering, but the City of Turlock is already making plans for the 41st annual Downtown Christmas Parade.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Christmas at the Arcade” and the City is encouraging businesses, organizations, families and individuals to show off their community spirit and creative sides by entering a float.

While the City of Turlock Recreation Department and the Turlock Firefighters Local 2434 are once again sponsoring this popular event, it wouldn’t be possible without a little help from two Turlock business organizations.

In June, the Turlock City Council adopted a budget that saw a tightening of the City’s financial belt — including drastic cuts to public safety.  The adopted budget defunded 16 currently vacant or soon to be vacant positions and made cuts in public safety overtime budgets that see fewer police officers and firefighters on duty on a weekly basis. Part of these cutbacks are in the police department’s overtime budget, which is used to staff special events like the Christmas parade.

That’s where the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and the Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association (TDPOA) came in. The business organizations donated $6,000 to help fill the funding gap so the parade could go on with the needed traffic and public safety personnel.

“I think the Chamber board realized it’s a very important event…It brings people together and brings people to downtown businesses,” said Chamber CEO Sue Micheletti.

Last year’s parade brought more than 20,000 people to downtown Turlock.

The parade is a popular community event and last year there was a waiting list for entries. The City’s Recreation department will start taking parade entry registration on Oct. 1 at Registration will go through Oct. 24. Fees are $65 for a nonprofit organization and $85 for a commercial entry. There will be a late registration period from Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 with fees increasing to $90 for general and $110 for commercial.

The parade is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 along Main Street.

There is a mandatory meeting for parade entries at 6 p.m. Nov. 19. The location of the meeting will be announced at a later date.

Molly Amant at the TDPOA will be the contact for vendors seeking to have a booth along the parade route. She can be reached at: or 209-202-4323.