The annual Clovis Children’s Electric Christmas Parade marched, danced, and twirled its way into holiday festivities in Old Town Clovis on Dec. 2, courtesy of the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club, the Clovis Veterans Memorial District and Sierra Vista Mall.
“The lights are so bright and beautiful!,” yelled Amanda Rodriguez, a first-time Clovis parade attendee.
Flickering lights, growing larger, pierced the darkness. The Clovis High School Marching Band and Color Guard came into view, along with the sound of drums and marching feet.
A Clovis tradition for 30 years, the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club has managed the parade for the past 12 years, with contributions from Sierra Vista Mall and new sponsor CVMD. Other sponsors, most from out of the immediate Old Town area, include 102.7 The Wolf, Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), CUSD Today, PG&E, FOX 26, EECU, iHeartMedia, Soft Rock 98.9, PowerTalk 96.7, and Alert-O-Lite, among others.
Spectators began reserving their seats for the parade as early as 5 a.m. Saturday by placing their chairs along Pollasky and Clovis Avenues. In preparation for the parade, street closures started at 5 p.m. and the event got going just after 6:30 p.m.
To assist with parking issues, Sierra Vista provided free round trip shuttle rides to the public from 5-8:30 p.m. The well-received transportation ran between the mall’s community shuttle stop to the Clovis Veterans Memorial District and accommodated scheduled routes to return crowds of attendees to their vehicles even after 8:30 p.m.
Thousands of spectators came to Old Town to see the remarkable parade and light show as it traveled clockwise through Clovis Avenue, 9th Street, Pollasky Avenue and 3rd Street. And though the parade route was recently increased from 9th to 3rd Street, the demand for an additional route increase continues due to the growing attendance from locals and members of the surrounding communities.
“I have been going to the parade since it started and I love it. I wish you would make the route longer so it wouldn’t be so crowded,” spectator Laurie Jimenez said in a Facebook comment.
Over 2,000 kids, adults, animals and floats, all decorated with lights, participated in the festive community attraction. Old Town Kiwanis officials said the parade had 108 entries this year, and all but two showed up and participated.
Along with CUSD school bands and color guards walked Boy and Girl Scout troops wearing reindeer antlers and waving to the crowds, veteran groups, churches, businesses, equestrians, creatively decorated cars, trucks and flatbeds.
Among crowd favorites were a giant shopping cart decorated with lights and a Star Wars-themed float with cast members waving at children and parade attendees. Also decorated with lights, llamas, dogs, horses and ponies charmed the crowds.
Old Town restaurants also stayed busy, keeping attendees warm and cozy with hot chocolate, coffee and food.
The City of Clovis broadcasted the event live from Facebook for those unable to attend.