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Downtown prepares for Christmas parade
Road closures planned for Friday afternoon
xmas parade pic4
The 36th annual Downtown Christmas Parade will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday. - photo by Journal file photo

The streets of downtown Turlock will soon be filled with crowds of holiday revelers as the 36th annual Downtown Christmas Parade is set for Friday.

This annual event draws thousands of residents and visitors alike to the downtown area and in preparation for the festivities there are a few road closures planned.

Main Street between Canal Drive and Lander Avenue will be closed from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, with the exception of the  Golden State Boulevard intersection which will be open until 5 p.m.

Other closures planned are: Broadway between Market and Chestnut streets from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and eastbound Canal Drive between Main and Johnson from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Detours will not be provided, so motorists looking to travel across Main Street should seek alternative routes.

In past years, the annual parade has generated crowds greater than 30,000 people to witness the lights and creativity of local companies, organizations, and nonprofits showcasing their floats in the event.

This year’s parade theme is “A Box Office Christmas” and while the participants can interpret the theme to their liking, there is always one thing every entry must have: lights. Several years ago the parade was a morning affair, but after switching to the evening the City mandated that participants illuminate their entries with a minimum of 3,000 lights. This tradition has since resulted in not only an enjoyable and festive experience for those watching the procession downtown, but also allows the judges to award one float’s creators the coveted award for Best Overall Use of Lights.

Holiday music and vendors will line Main Street starting at 4 p.m. Friday, with the parade set to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Canal and Main Street and make its way west along Main Street to Broadway.