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Young Rider Wins Parade's Top Award
Three-and-a-half year-old Madison O'Meara Snipes of Wilseyville riding her pony Blaze won the Best of Show trophy in Saturday's Riverbank Christmas Parade. Madison and Blaze have been competing in the California State Horseman's Association Future Horseman division riding in parades throughout Northern California and the Bay Area this year.

Carla Strong as grand marshal headed a string of city dignitaries, beauty queens, marching bands, floats, clowns, horses and riders, martial arts students, dancers and finally Santa Claus himself that delighted the crowd on a cold, gray morning on Dec. 4 in downtown Riverbank.

The winners, first through third, by category were as follows:

Specialty - Riverbank High School's Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, who carried the colors at the head of the parade.

Motorcycle Club - River Rats. They do a lot of community volunteer work, sponsored the RHS and Cardozo school bands and are mostly war veterans.

Floats, Non-Profit - Riverbank Community Gardens; Riverbank Baseball & Softball Association; Almond Grove Pledge.

Floats/Walking Group - Girls Scouts of Golden River.

Floats-Business - Rubio's Party Rentals.

Floats-Church - The Journey of Riverbank.

Novelty-Comedy - Aahmes Alchemist Shrine Clowns; Modesto Shrine Mini Lizzies.

Automobiles-Vintage Pre 1948 - Setliff Brothers with a 1927 Erskine; Knights of Columbus with a 1937 Chevy Sedan.

Classic Auto-1949-1965 - Riverbank Memorial Chapel with a 1963 Pontiac Combination Ambulance/Funeral Coach.

Auto Club - Central Valley British Car Club.

Automobiles-Late Model 1966 and Up - Sheriff's Team of Active Retired Seniors; Open Range Communications; Order of Sons of Italy Lodge 2021.

Motorcycles - Jan Brown.

Walking group - Black Belt Academy/Karate for Kids; Zumba Fitness With Diana; Riverbank Cares.

Equestrian - Tiffany Wilmoth for plain western junior female; River Oak Riding Group for junior mounted group; Madison O'Meara Snipes for future horseman; Los Amigos del Sol for Charro-Charra Costume Open; William and Shawn Close for family group open; and Amanda Consoli for fancy dressed western female senior.

From the booth at Santa Fe and Third streets, Scott Pettit did the announcing and Sandy Blagg, Trina Ozier and the Rev. Scott Ramsey judged the entries. Alice Lawellin was the judge for equestrian participants in the parade.