Downtown Light Parade ready for Thursday start
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune File Photo
The Grinch tags along on the 1st Class Auto Repair float during the 2021 Madera Light Parade last year.
The Madera Evening Lions’ Downtown Madera Light Parade is set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday on Yosemite Avenue between A and E Streets, rain or shine.
Event organizer Karla Gran with the Madera Evening Lions said there were 54 entries submitted, which is a little more than the 50 they capped it at.
“We are concerned about the rain,” she said. “We allowed the last stragglers to come in. The average entries are between 40-50. This year, there was a large delay. It came through in the end.”
The parade will begin at 6 p.m., sharp and will last until about 7:15 p.m.
Gran is excited to have all three high school marching bands in this year’s parade, but staging 54 entries will be a task.
“It’s going to be challenging to get everyone staged timely,” she said. “We’ve never had all three high schools participate. We are very pleased with the interest. People and the community are vital to hometown parades. Our town, in the past, has enjoyed the parades. We are very pleased we are able to provide a great parade.”
According to weather.com, there is a 92 percent chance of rain with winds up to 20 miles per hour. However, the rain will end later in the evening.
“I am crossing my fingers that it won’t rain,” Gran said. “In the past, it has rained, but people have come out. The first year we took over for Kiwanis, it down-poured, but people came out. We want to start off the holiday season with a great parade.”
In addition to the Madera Evening Lions, Gran said the parade would not have happened if it hadn’t been for the sponsorship of the Madera Downtown Association.
“They are financially responsible for everything to allow us to go down the street. We are very grateful for them,” she said.
The parade will end on E street this year, but there are plans to extend it across the street with a celebration and tree lighting in Courthouse Park.
“We are waiting for the renovation of Courthouse Park. We are hoping to do more next year,” Gran said.
The City of Madera Parks and Community Services Department will also be holding its quarterly Madera Eats event the former McMahan’s Furniture/Madera Hotel lot.
“The city wanted to do their part,” Gran said. “We love the spirit and atmosphere of Madera. There are a lot of things in December, but the fact that they support us is appreciative. We all love a good parade. We hope that it’s safe and fun and dry. It can rain after we’re done with the parade.”