The annual Hometown Holiday celebration starts at
6 p.m. with a parade that begins at 10th and B streets and travels to Central Avenue.
The parade will turn south on Central Avenue ending at the Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street, where the holiday tree will be lit.
Even though the National Weather Service has forecast rain this weekend, Tracy City Center Association events coordinator Courtney Campbell said the parade and tree lighting will go on, rain or shine.
“It will be a fun event even if it rains,” she said.
The parade, which was inaugurated in 2008, again will feature cars, floats and walking groups decorated with holiday lights.
“When you think of Christmas and the holidays, you think of lights,” Campbell said.
Entering the light parade for the fifth year, Mr. Rooter plumbing service owner LeEtta Celestine likes the opportunity to get in front of the community with the company van decked in lights and garland.
Celestine said she participated in the Fourth of July parade but favors the festive wintertime procession.
“We can decorate more and the lights stand out better — it’s like a light show,” she said.
Like many others who entered, she plans to hand out candy and play Christmas music as her van is judged in the parade. The top three entries in the categories of car, float and walking unit will be announced at the plaza following the parade.
TCCA began preparing for the weekend celebration by moving the Santa Hut to a new spot at the Downtown Plaza on Monday, Nov. 26, squeezing it into place past light poles and street signs to a spot near the corner of Sixth Street and Central Avenue.
Crews also decorated downtown street lights, wrapping them with garland, lights, wreaths and bows.
The city’s holiday tree will also be lit at the plaza Saturday. Crews assembled the 30-foot-tall artificial tree on the grass at the plaza and decorated it Tuesday, Nov. 27.
“It really gives the downtown a holiday feel and brings everyone there,” Campbell said. “It will be a unique and beautiful way to see the downtown.”
Campbell said the plaza, which has hosted events ranging from the downtown block parties to a Cinco de Mayo celebration, will be able to hold the expected crowd.
That includes the line of children waiting to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus following the tree-lighting at the Santa Hut, a downtown fixture for years. This year, Santa will arrive onboard a Tracy Fire Department engine.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will make stops at the hut from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8 and again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15.
Other Hometown Holiday events will continue downtown the weekend following the tree-lighting. On Dec. 8, holiday carolers and carriage rides will run through downtown from noon to 4 p.m.
Shoppers can visit select merchants from 10 a.m. to
7 p.m. Dec. 14 to get a downtown shopping bag, and holiday events wrap up with a special discount day at participating downtown merchants Dec. 22.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.