WHEN: 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1
WHERE: Plaza Circle and downtown Patterson
INFO: Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce, 895-8084.
The Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with 87 years of a local holiday tradition, invites local families downtown Saturday, Dec. 1, to ring in the Christmas season.
Chamber members and members of Soroptimist International of Patterson and the community organization Helping Our West Side have been working together the past month to welcome Santa Claus to Patterson with a “Storybook Christmas”-themed electric light parade. It begins at 6 p.m., and more than 30 entries will wend through the streets.
Santa will be at U.S. Bank on Plaza Circle after the parade, posing for a photo with each family.
“We’re very excited to be able to bring Santa Claus to Patterson,” Denise Sperle, chamber president, said this week.
Festivities begin before the parade, as folks gather at 5 p.m. at South Park on Plaza Circle for the lighting of more than 70 Christmas trees decorated by clubs, churches and individuals, also with the storybook theme. The display was coordinated by local Soroptimists.
Children’s entertainment follows at 5:15 p.m., when youngsters can take a wagon ride through town. The Creekside Middle School band and Trinity School of Music will provide music, and dancers from Trinity Dance Center and a Polynesian dance group will entertain.
Martha Arestegui, vice president of the chamber, described the evening as family-oriented fun.
“I’m excited about the evening,” Arestegui said. “I hope people come out and support the local talent.”
Families can gather on the circle and downtown streets in anticipation of the electric light parade at 6 p.m. The parade will begin on F Street and follow the route to El Circulo to the roundabout and onto South Del Puerto Avenue. Floats and participants will continue around the circle and down West Las Palmas Avenue to end on E Street.
The Center Building that houses the Patterson Township Historical Society museum will be open for the evening, along with several downtown businesses.
The Patterson Fire Department already has donation barrels in place at all local bank branches to collect toys for local children in need. People who visit U.S. Bank for photos with Santa on Saturday are welcome to donate then.
Patterson’s tradition of a Christmas celebration started in the 1920s, when Santa Claus visited Patterson with toys for local children. A lighted Christmas tree was featured in the downtown park in 1929, and 700 children received gifts during that year’s festivities.
Martha “Ma” Bishop played Santa Claus to children who packed the Del Puerto Theatre for Christmas celebrations throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Over the years, a parade was added and local business owners stayed open for holiday shoppers.
Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or firstname.lastname@example.org.