NEITHER THE WINTERY weather nor the chill that the storm front brought with it stopped people from attending the annual Parade of Lights in Lodi.
Hundreds gathered along Lockeford, Church and School streets in Lodi, dressed in their best Christmas attire, to watch and cheer for their favorite floats on Thursday evening.
Organized by Kiwanis Club of Greater Lodi, the parade began at 6:17 p.m. on Lockeford Street, with 71 units representing businesses, civic and faith-based organizations, radio stations, schools and others. With a total of 71 confirmed units and 1,970 participants, the parade was an estimated 2,991 feet in length — more than half a mile long — and lasted about an hour.
Trish Pulido, a Lodi resident, attended the parade with her husband Bobby Pulido and her 87-year-old mother Shirley Elam. “My mother lives at the Arbor Nursing Center and I wanted to bring her to the parade,” Pulido said. “My husband and I have been to the parade in the previous years, but it is my mother’s first time here and she is loving it out here today.”
Along the parade route is the One-Eighty Teen Center, a facility offering various services to adolescents and youth in the community. For the third year in a row, the teen center has arranged “front row” street-side seating and some indoor seating with hot chocolate and cookies to watch the parade.
Jacob McGregor, executive director for One-Eighty Programs said, “We host this event for our supporters and kids. The goal is to just hangout and really enjoy themselves.”
Harika Maddala is a photojournalist based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. They are a Report for America corps member and a CatchLight Local Fellow.