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Holiday Parade, Faire Offered
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Weather forecasters are calling for sunny skies and high temperatures peaking in the mid-60s on Saturday.

Perfect for Riverbank's second annual Christmas Festival, which will include a variety of activities throughout the day, at different venues in the community.

Co-sponsored by the City of Riverbank, the Riverbank Lions Club and Pizza Plus in Riverbank, the festival will start with a Holiday Craft Faire, both outside in the Plaza del Rio and inside at the city's Community Center, starting at 2 p.m.

"We have it in two different locations," said Scott Pettit, organizing the parade that is also part of the day's festivities. He said the idea behind that is planning for inclement weather, with some of the participants wanting to stay under cover and out of the elements for the show.

Crafts and refreshments will be available throughout the day along with live entertainment and fun for the whole family. Both sites will have the craft faire from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., while the parade is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.

"We have a number of entries for the parade and the Enochs High School band is coming back for another year," Pettit said.

Floats, service clubs, local scouts and more will all be part of the parade, which forms at the Community Center and follows a route through downtown, along Stanislaus to Third before winding back to Santa Fe. Santa will be featured in the parade and then will preside at the ceremonial Community Christmas Tree lighting, staying after to pose for photos with youngsters.

"People can bring their own camera and the photos are free, we will have a backdrop set up there and the Friends of the Library will be reading 'Twas the night before Christmas' to the kids while they wait in line to visit with Santa and have their picture taken," Pettit said.

Musical entertainment during the day will be offered by jazz flutist 'Flamin' Amy,' said Pettit, along with singer-guitarist Alex Lucero, back by popular demand.

"Also back by popular demand will be Alan Sanchez of Good Day Sacramento," Pettit said of the Channel 31 TV personality. "He will be our emcee for the tree lighting and will also be in the parade."

This marks the 44th year for the Riverbank Christmas Parade and Pettit said having it at night allows for the entries to be lighted, adding to the holiday feel.

Many downtown businesses are decorated for the holidays as well and the day will include the collection of items by the Riverbank Cares Committee to help meet local needs for the holiday season.

"Last year's parade drew several thousand spectators and we plan to throw in a few surprises for this year's event," said Pettit.

Road closures for the day on Saturday to facilitate the festivities include:

From noon to 8 p.m., Third Street between Topeka and Santa Fe streets will be closed for the Holiday Craft Faire. Detours will be in place.

From 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Second to Seventh streets between Santa Fe and Stanislaus will be closed for the Holiday Parade. Detours will be in place.