Monday, December 7, 2009

Los Gatos Children's Holiday & Christmas Parade

What a great weekend in Los Gatos!  Friday night the tall 70 year old cypress tree in the Town Plaza was lit up, as it has been for decades, kicking off the official Holiday season in Los Gatos.  Santa Claus dropped by as well to greet children of all ages!

Saturday morning was chilly and clear.  Fine weather for the 53rd Annual Los Gatos Children's Holiday & Christmas Parade.  We love Los Gatos because of events like this.  This annual community gathering has come a long way from that Friday night in 1956 when a small group of fathers marched up Santa Cruz Avenue with their sons.  Little did they know the tradition they would start.  Here's a gallery of snapshots from in front of Vintages.  As you can see, we had a front row view of the parade!

The parade watchers start arriving early on Saturday morning.  The spaces in front of Vintages were all "reserved" by 9 am, a full two hours before the start of the parade.  Here's what the scene looked like an hour later!

The parade starts every year with the presentation of the Fire Department color guard carrying the flags.

Next, the Los Gatos High School Marching Band, Cheerleaders and Flag Corps get the parade of to a roaring start!  (FYI: Congratulations to the LGHS football team who won the NorCal Division II championship on Saturday night.  Not to be outdone, the LGHS Field Hockey team won their division of the CCS earlier in the month!)

More marching bands provided musical accompaniment to the parade throughout the morning.  Bands from high schools & middle schools, the Fire & Police Department Bagpipers and the raucous Stanford University band all made their annual appearance.

Here, here, here ... three cheers for our Troops.  
Scout troops, dance schools, tumblers and dog walkers, all parts of the extended community join in the parade.
Classic cars, antique autos, old-time fire engines and Billy Jones' Wildcat Railroad.
The most hilarious award annually goes to the Italian Gardeners Association's Cucuzza Squash Drill Team.  This "precision marching drill team" is a loosely organized squad of men dressed in their "uniform" of white pasta-stained undershirts guarding the Cucuzza Queen riding in a classic Cadillac convertible.
Horses, history and cowpokes make their appearance as well.  
The last band in the parade precedes Santa Claus officially ending the festivities.  Now we can all go shopping!
For more photos of the parade, check out this slide show.  Merry Christmas!

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