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Holiday parade and tree lighting a success

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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Despite the fog and cold, Lincoln’s annual holiday parade and tree lighting was well attended in the downtown area Saturday. “It might be damp and cold outside,” said Mayor Primo Santini at the tree lighting ceremony in Beermann Plaza following the parade, “but in our community, it’s warm in our hearts.” Saturday’s parade started at 4 p.m. and included approximately 40 floats, said Judy Bennett, interim CEO for the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, which facilitated the event. “I thought it was great fun,” Bennett said. “The thing I love about Lincoln parades is that they’re so evocative of Lincoln’s charm…the antique tractor, the 4H, the dogs and all the horses. I think this is the only community around that manages to keep its traditions alive in its parade.” Bennett added that during the tree-lighting ceremony, Beermann Plaza was packed, with the crowd stretching from in front of Police Department Headquarters to Fifth Street. “I think it’s a grand and proud tradition, and I hope it continues for many years into the future,” Bennett said. Lincoln Mayor-Elect Spencer Short estimated there was a crowd of approximately 200 at the tree-lighting ceremony and as many as 600 spectators along the parade route. Many of Lincoln’s residents thought the parade was a success as well. “It was very nice, very good,” spectator Tom Edwards said. “I liked the variety of floats. My favorite was the 4H one with the Christmas tree on it.” In addition to the 4H float, many community groups entered, including the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Lincoln High School Band and Miss Placer County. Tom Osman, den leader for Cub Scout Pack 185, helped the boys build their float before the parade. “I spent three hours doing that with the majority of our scouts and some from Pack 256. It was great getting the boys to help build the float and get hands-on experience. We had hot cocoa and marshmallows, too.” For the Lincoln youth surveyed, however, one float stood above all others as their favorite. “Santa was my favorite part,” said 4-year-old Sophia Edwards. “I’m asking him for a necklace for Christmas.” She wasn’t alone. “My favorite float was Santa on the fire truck,” said 12-year-old Joel Jacobs, adding that he also liked the candy tossed off many of the floats. While Joel watched the parade, his brother, Matthew, was “the official guy walking with the wheelbarrow behind the horses,” said their stepfather, William Chambers. In addition to the parade and tree lighting, there were other activities. Pictures in Beermann Plaza with Santa were popular as was the soup served by the Soroptomist International of Lincoln in the Veterans Memorial Hall on Fifth and E streets. “It was delicious, delicious soup,” said Kristen Faber of Roseville, who helped serve drinks. “We’re selling soup to raise money for awards that we give to needy women.” Proceeds help women who are trying to further their education, Faber added. Following the parade and before the tree lighting were choir performances from area schools and churches. Although the big events had been meticulously planned, it was the little touches that made the difference for some attendees Saturday. “What was the favorite part for me,” said City Councilman Tom Cosgrove, “was seeing my grandson’s face when Santa came by on the fire truck. His eyes got all big and he smiled. That’s what it’s all about.”