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Karate Students Voted Best Of Show
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White-jacketed youngsters of the Black Belt Academy, whirling knives, staves and feet in a exhibition before the judge's stand, won the Best of Show silver platter at the Riverbank Christmas Parade on Saturday.

But one stray white dog threatened to upstage the entire 41st parade by scampering into the road to pursue and bark at every horse it spotted passing the judge's stand.

From the appearance of the Sheriff's Posse at the parade's head, the scruffy canine, which nobody could catch or even attempted to, persisted in baiting the horses which all were well trained and refused to be spooked.

At first amusing spectators with its antics, especially during long chilly gaps between entries, the dog brought groans when it started rolling in horse manure and eventually lost the crowd's interest. But not before it had its day, many, many times over.

The day was cold, bitter cold, with a wavering wind from the northwest threatening to make it colder. But a sizeable crowd turned up and endured the weather to see a one and a half hour parade wind through the newly spiffed up downtown at Third and Santa Fe streets.

Then spectators adjourned hastily to the warmth of the Community Gymnasium to see the parade trophies awarded or crossed the street to the Community Center to browse among the arts and crafts items for a Christmas present.

Parade award winners by category were as follows:

Church floats - Dry Creek Community Church, school floats - Riverbank High School Drama Club, civic organization floats - Riverbank Community Gardens.

Comedy novelty - Aahmes Alchemist Shrine Clowns, open costume novelty - M&M Cruisers/Sno-White Drive In.

Drill team - Black Belt Academy/Karate for Kids.

Motorcycle club - River Rats, ATVs/go-carts/motorcycles - Valley Motor Sports.

Walking group - Girl Scouts/Golden River Service Unit, trains - The Knight Express.

Award winners for mounted groups and solo riders included:

Police group senior - Stanislaus County Sheriff's Posse, charro/charra costume open - Amigos del Sol, mounted group junior - River Oak Riding Group.

Novelty costume open - Ariel Diggan, pony-drawn vehicle - Oxford Ranch and silver mounted open - Rhonda Rayn.

The Car Club Award went to the Modesto Impalas.

For individual cars, the following won 1st place: (no second or third place awards were issued)

Chuck and Faye Park of Manteca with their 1926 Ford Tall T Sedan;

Gary Cooksey of Oakdale riding a 1973 VW Thing;

Tony and Denise Camara of Dublin with their 1970 Chevy El Camino.

Parade judges included Sgt. Ryan Fisher of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, Riverbank Police Chief Bill Pooley and retired City of Riverbank employee Sandy Blagg. Alice Lawellin of Manteca judged the equestrian entries. Scott Pettit of Karate for Kids was the parade announcer and organized the cars. Luanne Bain of City Hall gathered the parade entries.