City Manager's Blog

Dec 04

[ARCHIVED] Bringing Holiday Cheer to 2020: Celebration of Lights Reverse Parade

The original item was published from December 4, 2020 2:00 PM to December 4, 2020 2:04 PM

In order to keep the tradition of Modesto’s 89th holiday parade and offer a safe and fun way to celebrate the season, our Parks and Recreation department pivoted to offer a low-risk alternative to the community.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to bring a little holiday cheer to Modesto in this way,” Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Manager Ashley Weaver said. “Our team, community partners, and presenting sponsor Crystal Creamery have set out  to plan a safe Celebration of Lights ‘Cruise’ that looks a little different but we hope will spread the same joy.”

Instead of encouraging families to gather on the streets to watch parade floats drive by, the 2020 Celebration of Lights parade will feature 20 stationary displays on I St that allow families to view the displays from the safety of their vehicles. The parade begins at 17th and I St and families are welcome to drive through at any time between 5:30 to 8 p.m on Saturday, December 5.

To add to the coziness of being in your car instead of out in the cold, we recommend wearing your favorite holiday pajamas or ugly sweater. You are also welcome to bring hot chocolate to sip or candy canes to lick, as there will be no handouts from any floats.

Those at the displays will be smiling through their masks and remaining a merry six feet from those outside of their household.

Santa, with the Modesto Fire Department, will wave to drive-through spectators along the route, and various businesses along 10th Street will also have their storefronts decorated to participate in the “Cruise” parade.

The 10th St. Plaza will be transformed into Rockin’ Holidays at the Plaza, a winter wonderland with a 50-foot lit tree, garland, lights, and even snow, and spectators can drive through until December 20!

We are grateful that even in times like these, we are able to provide free ways for the community to celebrate the holidays safely.