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Thousands flock to downtown Turlock for annual parade
RESULTS Winton Ireland 2
Winton Ireland Strom & Green Insurance placed first in the Antique Entry in an old beautiful Turlock firetruck. - photo by NATALIE WINTERS/The Journal

Parade Winners:

Antique Entry: Winton Ireland Strom & Green Insurance

Commercial Entry: Curves

Themed Entry: Pack 21 Cub Scouts

Unique Entry: Off Road Renegades

Youth Group Entry: Tie Between “The Live Nativity” from Our Lady of Assumption and Medeiros Elementary

Best Overall Use of Lights: Medeiros Elementary




Maybe it was the array of lights on every float, person or car? Perhaps it was the funnel cakes, kettle corn or Santa up on the fire truck? Regardless the reason, roughly 30,000 people gathered in the heart of downtown Turlock Friday night for the 37th annual Downtown Christmas Parade, hosted by the Turlock Firefighters Local 2434.

The parade traveled down historic Main Street in Turlock beginning at Canal Drive with this year’s theme, “A Down Home Country Christmas.”

“I was born and raised in Turlock and I’ve been coming here ever since I can remember,” said Jamie Nascimento. “My dad is a retired fire captain and my husband is a firefighter in Turlock as well, so this parade is very special to me and my family.”

This year’s parade included 78 entries ranging from floats to dragsters and horses to shopping carts.

“It’s just a great time with such a wonderful local community; everybody loves it,” said Jesse Sangera, member of the Sunrise Rotary Club. “This town has such a small town feel and I’m glad to be part of it.”

Ray Mendonca drove his father’s tractor through the parade in honor of Leonard Mendonca’s 30 years of announcing for the event.

The crowd stretched up and down Main Street and people had filled the street since early Friday morning, as Sierra Humphreys explained.

“We’ve been out here since 11:30 a.m. to hold these spots... and it was worth it,” she said. “We love seeing all the lights and enjoy coming out every year.”

Whether you’re new to town or have been coming to the Downtown Christmas Parade for years, there’s one thing for sure: the tradition continues.