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Holiday Observance Draws Huge Crowd To Downtown
Kids of all ages delighted in the ‘snow’ that fell on Escalon’s Main Street Park for the annual Christmas on Main festivities, staged on Saturday, Dec. 4. Marg Jackson/The Times

There was ‘snow’ falling, tacos being grilled, purchases being made and music being played, as Escalon and surrounding area residents poured in to the downtown area for Saturday’s festive Christmas on Main.

Highlight of the Dec. 4 event was the lighted holiday parade, stepping off on Coley Avenue about 5:30 p.m. and lasting roughly a half hour. Each entry had to feature some kind of holiday light theme and there were several fan favorites, such as the huge, oversized Christmas tree on top of a station wagon in ‘A Griswold Family Christmas’ entry to Escalon High School band members with strings of lights blinking as they played their instruments and marched in time down the street.

This year’s Grand Marshal was Chris Swanson of Escalon’s Ace Hardware, who thanked the community for their support over the years.

Serving as emcee was City Councilman Robert Swift, with Chamber President Pat Brown briefly taking the microphone to welcome the crowd and thank the sponsors.

The Bracco family had also collected hundreds of stuffed animals during the year and tossed them out to youngsters in the crowd along the entire parade route, which left on Coley, turned on to First and then went along Main for a few blocks before disbanding.

Judges for the parade were Escalon Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Pelot, Escalon Police Chief Rob Lackey and Escalon Community Ambulance Chief Vanessa Herrero and EMT/Paramedic Leah Truelove.

Named as the first place winner in the parade was the Powerhouse Dance float/troupe, with second place going to the EHS Marching Band and third place going to the local Cub Scouts.

Hosted by the Escalon Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with several other local organizations and families that helped to sponsor it, the afternoon and evening festivities were staged in and around the Main Street Park. There were vendor booths, entertainment on the stage, face painting, food, hot chocolate served up by the Escalon Lions Club, a Friends of the Escalon Library book sale and, after the parade, the popular s’mores kits for creating the sweet treat using the fire pits available throughout the park.

The Chamber also hosted a booth featuring a variety of baskets and gift packages, with ticket sales benefitting the “Giving Trees” effort. Through that program, said Chamber officials, families in need in the community are presented with the items to have a happy holiday at home.

“This year the families will be receiving a tree, lights, ornaments, tree topper, tree skirt, tote to hold everything and a $100 gift card,” said Antonio Diaz, who works with the Chamber and in the Farmers Insurance office of Jessica Wylie, who helped coordinate the Giving Trees.

People were incredibly generous this year, Wylie and Diaz said.

“The community had donated so much that we are going to be setting them (families receiving the trees) up with a dinner from MarVal,” noted Diaz of the successful holiday effort.

Their float featured a scene from The Island of Misfit Toys but those on board the Escalon Dental-sponsored parade entry were all smiles. Marg Jackson/The Times
Following their arrival at the end of the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus heard Christmas wishes and posed for photos, here smiling with Ryan, 12, and Addison Huebner, 8, on the Main Street stage. Marg Jackson/The Times