The parade was postponed due to rain, Santa had a scheduling conflict, parking was a nightmare, but it all came together beautifully! The weather was cool without being uncomfortably cold, and crowds headed downtown for an afternoon and evening celebrating the holiday season.
Hundreds (thousands?) of Gilroyals and visitors came together for the annual holiday festivities on Saturday night, for an afternoon and evening of holiday cheer, music, doggie dress up, a parade, and ta-DA! Santa.
Smiling faces were the rule of the day, starting at 3:00. Many of the stores stayed open later than normal to show off their wares to the crowds that were streaming into downtown from blocks around.
By the time the parade started, the street was lined with an enthusiastic crowd on both sides. Al Pinheiro, outgoing mayor of Gilroy, was the guest of honor and led the parade in a small cart trimmed with lights. The parade built up to the arrival of Santa, who stopped at Monterey and 5th street to light up the downtown Christmas tree before heading off to Mango Street Kids, where he would meet children and listen to Christmas wishes.
The holiday festivities were a hit with young and old alike, and the organizers did a boffo job. If you missed it this year, make sure to fit it into your calendar next year.
Here are just of few of the pictures from the evening. Click on a picture for a larger view, or a slide show, depending on your browser settings.