Valley News -

By Tony Ault

Hemet Christmas Parade draws crowds Saturday, Dec. 1


Last updated 12/7/2018 at 1:06am

Tony Ault

The largest crowd ever attended the Hemet Christmas parade, which traveled down Florida Avenue Saturday, Dec. 1. The parade had 102 entries decorated to the theme "Holidays from the Silver Screen," kicking off the holiday celebrations in Hemet and San Jacinto.

The weather, although quite cool in the morning, did not deter the thousands of Hemet, San Jacinto and neighboring community residents, sometimes standing eight people deep, which lined both sides of Florida Avenue from Palm Avenue to Gibbel Park on Kirby Street.

Leading off the parade about 10:25 a.m. were members of the Riverside Mounted Posse with the American and California state flag followed by the Dartmouth Middle School band and cheer.

This year's Grand Marshall was the Hemet High School Theater Group and was followed by Assemblyman Chad Hayes and members of the Hemet and San Jacinto City Council members.

Tony Ault

The two-hour long parade featured 25 brightly decorated floats, nine school bands and their cheer teams, 16 motorized entries and an antique auto grouping, hundreds of walking dancers and marchers and three featured animal and equestrian entries.

The five parade judges, Steve Covington, Tanya Stevenson, Connie Hall, Jim Harsh and Carol Meridian, decided the best of categories, which were announced at the end of the parade at Gibbel Park.

The jolly old elf, Santa Claus, at the end of the parade brought waves of cheers and shouts of "Merry Christmas" of thousands of children. Santa gave up his sleigh and reindeer for the special event, instead riding on Hemet Fire Department's 100-foot ladder truck.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at [email protected]


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