Though Halloween is still a couple of weeks away, local officials are already looking ahead to the holidays.
The City of Riverbank Recreation Department has mailed entry forms to residents and organizations that have been involved with past Community Christmas Parades. The deadline to submit forms and entry fees for this year’s parade will be Nov. 13, 2017.
The parade is scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this year, Nov. 25.
For those interested in joining in the fun, they can contact the Recreation Office at 863-7150 for information and the registration forms.
School band entries have an earlier deadline: Nov. 9. Band performances will not be judged, but the other entrants will be competing for trophies.
There are a variety of miscellaneous categories, with a trophy or ribbon going to First Place in each. There are four divisions in Floats: Business, Church, Non-Profit or School. Specialty Groups include Drill Team and Color Guard.
Automobiles are broken down into four categories: Vintage, pre-1948; Classic, ‘49-‘69; Late Model, 1970-up; and Auto Clubs.
Motorcycles include: Single Rider Groups and Motorcycle Clubs.
There’s a division for ATVs and for Go Carts and three levels for Novelty: Animal (not horse); Comedy Entry (not animal); and Open Costume (not horse). There’s also a section for Politicians and several levels for School Bands. They’re broken down into: Senior High - Band, Color Guard, or Band Major; Junior High - Band, Color Guard, or Band Major.
All entries must follow the published rules and regulations.
The theme is Jingle Bell Rock, so bells are encouraged, according to the Rec. Dept. And it’s a ‘Light Parade,’ they said, so lights are required on all entries. Each vehicle/float should have as many lights as possible. And all walkers, animals, dogs, etc., must have a minimum of 20 lights. Officials note that “battery operated LED lights” are the best.
No entry is allowed in the parade dressed as Santa or Mrs. Claus. All drivers must have a valid driver’s license and insurance, with proof required for drivers under 21. Any skateboarder, inline skater, motorcyclists or passengers must wear a helmet.
Check in for the parade will be at the area around the Community Center, 3600 Santa Fe, with everyone ready to go by 4:45 p.m. Organizers note that no entries will be accepted or added on parade day and they remind participants that city offices are closed both Nov. 23 and 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Riverbank Community Christmas Parade officially kicks off the holiday season, with a Christmas Tree lighting at Plaza del Rio Park at Third and Santa Fe streets following the parade.
Announcement of the winners and presentation of prizes will be held following the tree lighting.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available then at the park for photo opportunities.
Organizers suggest both participants and onlookers dress warmly come holiday parade time, as November nights can be very chilly.