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Local TV Personality, Astronaut Enter Parade
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A television show roving reporter and an astronaut will star in Riverbank's Christmas Festival on Nov. 26.

Alan Sanchez from Channel 31's Good Day Sacramento, one of the Central Valley's most popular morning shows, will be a special guest of the parade and master of ceremonies for the tree lighting.

Also slated to join the parade is National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Jose Hernandez, who grew up in Stockton, said event chairperson Scott Pettit.

Entries are rolling in for the crafts fair, parade and tree lighting that will all be held on the same day this year. That day is Saturday, Nov. 26, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. (See related story, page A2.)

Named the Christmas Festival, it will be an all day event with the crafts fair starting at 2 p.m. outside City Hall North and the Plaza del Rio, the parade beginning at 5:30 p.m. from the Community Center; and the tree lighting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Plaza.

Running in the early evening instead of morning, the parade will be a lighted event with all entries carrying lights for the first time in the city's history.

The parade will follow the usual route assembling at the Community Center and going west on Santa Fe Street, south on Second and east on Stanislaus Street back to the center.

Santa Claus will have a place set up at the Plaza for him to visit with the children and have their pictures taken for free after the parade.

People may honor a loved one by purchasing a memorial ornament that will be placed on the tree and the names read publicly at the lighting ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Call 863-7150 for more information or stop by the Recreation Office to purchase your ornament.

Many downtown businesses will participate in a window-decorating contest. There is also a front yard decoration contest under way this year. Homes must be decorated by Monday, Nov. 21. Awards will be presented at the Festival. Applications are available at City Hall North.

Entry forms for the crafts fair, parade and yard decorating contest are still available. The deadline for entry is Friday, Nov. 18.

For more information please contact Kerrie Webb in Parks and Recreation at 863-7150, Luanne Bain in Administration at 863-7116 or Scott Pettit at 480-2271 in Karate for Kids, 3342 Santa Fe St.