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Trio Of Planned Events Usher In Festive Season

Amid the news that San Joaquin County – like many other counties across California – has backslid into the more restrictive ‘Purple’ tier, a handful of activities are expected to go on in the city. All are being planned with social distancing in place and will kick start the holiday season.

First, the Escalon Chamber of Commerce has announced its second annual Christmas Lights and Decorations Contest. The contest will run from Dec. 5 through Dec. 14. Those participating are asked to bring out the Christmas lights and decorations, brighten up your home for the holidays and encourage friends and neighbors to do a ‘drive thru’ tour.

Sign up online at to participate.

The contest is for all Escalon businesses and homes that are in areas shown on the Chamber website. Lights and decorations have to be visible from cars and you have to sign up on the chamber’s website in order to be entered to win. Those viewing the decorations are encouraged to vote online at the chamber website for their favorite by Dec. 14.

First, second and third prizes will be awarded.

For more information, call or text Pat at 209-988-0582 or Debbie at 209-402-0505.

The City of Escalon, along with the Escalon Lions, Escalon Kiwanis and Escalon Sunrise Rotary are teaming up to offer a ‘Drive-In Movie Night’ on Friday, Dec. 11.

Two showings of ‘A Christmas Story’ are planned, at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Social distancing guidelines must be followed; those attending must remain inside their vehicle or in the bed of a truck. Large vehicles must park in the back.

The movie is scheduled to be shown in the Quality Service, Inc. parking lot at 2996 McHenry Ave., opening at 5:30 p.m.

Space is limited; it will be first come, first served.

All vehicles must leave right after the conclusion of the movie.

Finally, Escalon’s modified Christmas on Main Street will be a ‘drive thru’ edition for a Parade of Lights.

Mayor Robert Swift, on the planning committee for the event, said it will take on an almost ‘Christmas Tree Lane’ style, as the parade floats will be stationary and parked on one side of Main Street.

The street will be shut down to one-way traffic, and those viewing the parade floats will be in their vehicle, driving by the entries.

The event is set for Saturday, Dec. 12 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Main Street businesses are planning to decorate their storefronts and sidewalks to complement the various lighted holiday float entries.

“It’s all volunteers doing this,” Mayor Swift added of the new style Parade of Lights event.

He said the different festivities are designed to lift spirits and help people get into the holiday mood.

“It’s vital,” Swift said of having some sort of holiday celebration for the community. “It just has been a real tough year and we know it’s not going to be normal, but there is going to be something for the holidays. Hopefully these little events will keep everybody going.”

The mayor also pointed to many businesses in Escalon stepping up, yet again, to provide prizes for the holiday decorating contest and assisting with preparations for the parade. He also was glad to see all the community service clubs get involved in the Movie Night.

“Volunteerism has made this town special, more than anything else,” Swift said.