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Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration Fills Downtown
The Plaza del Rio was the location of Riverbanks Old Time Christmas on Wednesday, Dec. 17, where musical and dance performances were seen, hot chocolate was served and youngsters stood in line to impart to Santa their fondest Christmas gift wish.

Even though the winds and rain and flooding across Northern California forced cancellation of holiday celebrations in other areas in recent weeks, the Old Time Christmas at the Plaza, in downtown Riverbank, managed to sneak in between waves of storms.

Sponsored and organized by the City of Riverbank Parks and Recreation Department, the event got under way as scheduled, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Plaza del Rio at Third and Santa Fe streets in the heart of Riverbank’s downtown area.

The hour long festival featured performances by local organizations, hot chocolate and visits with Santa, youngsters taking a turn to sit on his lap and offer him some holiday gift lists.

First up, the city’s Tot Time group performed ‘Feliz Navidad’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman.’

Then two classes of Riverbank’s Ballet Folklorico danced. The Intermediate Class performed the Mexican State of Vera Cruz dance to ‘La Bamba’ and the Beginner’s Class performed ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland.’

Next was the Ugly Sweater Contest (Christmas Division), then Girl Scout Troop 3382 performed ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’

That was followed by Boy Scout Pack 10, singing ‘Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’ and again, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’

The final act was New Generation (Nueva Generacion), a local band made up of high school students, performing several selections for the crowd.

All during this time, children were cozying up to the man with the white beard, listing those presents they wished for Christmas, coming away with a candy cane. Families and their children also were able to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, in front of the city’s festively decorated Christmas tree.