Santa, Patterson City Council members, the Grinch and local businesses entertained a downtown lower than average turnout for the 87th year of Christmas festivities downtown.
The crowd’s size was determined by the weather, according to Ruth Ann Woodward, Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and parade coordinator.
“We had a really good crowd for the weather,” she said. “It was a nice turnout.”
Woodward said more than 350 youngsters saw Santa after the parade a year ago in good weather, and American Legion Post 160 Commander Mike Anderson Announced Tuesday, Dec. 4 that more than 260 saw Santa this year.
The celebration began at about 5 p.m. in South Park on Plaza Circle, as people gathered to witness the lighting of more than 70 trees decorated by clubs, churches and individuals.
With the trees alight, the parade sponsored by Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce, as well as Soroptimist International of Patterson and Helping Our Westside got under way just after 6 p.m.
More than 30 floats featured lights in a show that lasted more than a half-hour.
The groups started on F Street and followed a route to El Circulo to the roundabout. From there, floats and marchers traveled onto South Del Puerto Avenue and continued around the Plaza Circle and down West Las Palmas Avenue.
Patterson’s tradition of a Christmas celebration started in the 1920s, when Santa Claus visited Patterson with toys for local children. A lighted Christmas tree was featured in the downtown park in 1929.
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