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Classic tales come to life during annual Christmas parade
Xmas Parade 1
The Knights of Columbus Star Wars themes float took home the prize for the Best Overall float and the best Themed Entry of the night. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

The 2017 Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade Winners

Antique Vehicle: Casale Family & Friends

Commercial Entry: Once Upon A Child

Themed Entry: Knights of Columbus

Unique Entry: Off Road Renegades

Youth Group: Brown Elementary

Best Overall: Knights of Columbus

The Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade made its way down Main Street for the 39th time Friday night, with floats fit for a fairy tale taking front and center stage as the city erupted with holiday cheer.

This year’s parade featured some of the world’s most well-known stories, with floats personifying classic tales like “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan” and even “Star Wars.” Some of the most common themes in the parade were “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “The Polar Express.” 

According to Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Allison Van Guilder, an estimated 20,000 people attended this year’s parade, including those from the Turlock community and visitors from out of town.

For Councilman Bill DeHart, who served as a judge for the float contest, the parade serves as a way for Turlock’s groups, businesses and organizations to showcase their artistic abilities while providing a safe way for the community to come together as one.

“I’m looking for originality and fun with the floats,” said DeHart. “A lot of people put in a lot of work to participate…this celebrates that effort. And what a celebration – it gets bigger every year.”

Turlock mother and son duo Flor Robertson and Ramiro Guerrero have been coming to the Christmas parade for about four years, they said. Like many other Turlockers, it’s tradition for the family to set out their lawn chairs along the street hours before the parade, ensuring they have some of the best seats to watch the show.

“I like to see what’s new in the parade every year,” said Robertson.

“The parade makes it a happier community,” said Guerrero. “It’s something safe for us to do, and it gets us in the Christmas spirit.

“The whole environment – the lights, the music…it makes everyone happy.”

Turlock resident Lauren Nagle experienced the holiday parade for the first time this year, and said that the environment Guerrero described was hard to find growing up in her hometown of San Diego.

“There’s nothing like this in San Diego,” said Nagle. “You get to see people of all generations come together in one spot to celebrate the holiday. I will for sure be coming back next year.”

As always, the feel-good festivities included some friendly competition. Over 70 floats were entered into the parade this year, but only a select few took home the top honors.