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Celebration Draws Festive Crowd
There was a definite chill in the air but that didn't deter the holiday crowd from turning out in droves for the downtown Escalon celebration on Saturday night.

Growing over the last few years, this Christmas on Main Street had the biggest crowd ever, with attendees enjoying everything from a light parade to visits with Santa Claus, roasting marshmallows to holiday music. There was even the chance for some early shopping, with a wide variety of booths set up in the park offering merchandise.

"This is like Park Fete," Escalon Mayor Danny Fox said, looking around at the crowd milling about the park. "The amount of people is great, the weather cooperated, the community always comes through on these things."

Sponsored by the city's Chamber of Commerce, there were also many supporting organizations and individuals that helped make sure the celebration went off smoothly.

"I think this is so incredible," noted Chamber President Pat Brown, ecstatic with the turnout and the event itself.

"This is an awesome turnout," agreed Chamber Secretary Maggie Martinez. "Where did all these people come from? It's amazing."

The 'light parade' featured entries complete with holiday lighting and rivaled the summertime Park Fete parade in terms of numbers. Lasting a full half hour, there were lots of brightly decorated floats, musical groups, the American Legion Riders, classic cars and more.

Elsewhere, children could take advantage of a number of fun activities, from making their own ornaments to hang on the family Christmas tree to writing and decorating a letter to Santa.

The final entry in the parade was a fire truck, which carried Santa Claus to the festivities, and he spent the rest of the evening meeting with children on the Main Street stage, hearing their holiday wishes. He also posed for photos with them and each child received a small gift.

Robert and Bea Taylor brought their grandson, 5-year-old Brian Gonsalves, to the celebration.

"I like the parade, looking at all the booths," Bea said. "And seeing my grandson all excited about it."

For the first time this year, there were prizes awarded for the best entries in the parade and the local Power House Dance Studio took the top prize, with dozens of youngsters performing a dance routine for the judges.