It was a mariachi Christmas in downtown Visalia as the 65th Annual Candy Cane Lane Parade helped kick off the holiday season. The bone-chilling temperatures couldn't keep thousands of people from watching all the excitement.
A mariachi band appropriately helped start off the 2010 Candy Cane Lane Parade.
From furry friends ... to little kids ... nearly everyone here got bundled up for the parade. Many commented it felt a whole lot colder than last year.
Visalia resident, Skye Barrera said, "Blankets and more blankets and a couple layers of clothing for the kids."
Visalia resident, Chloe Schultz said, "This is supposed to be Rudolph's nose and I got all bundled up so I won't be cold here. I don't want to leave this wonderful parade."
One of the most popular men in the cold weather -- Jorge Ramos, who's selling hot chocolate as part of a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club. Last year they sold three-thousand cups. The money goes towards scholarships for children. "We like the weather to be cold because they love hot chocolate when it's cold."
College of the Sequoias agriculture students worked for a month straight to get their mariachi float as festive looking as can be. While many lawn chairs were set up along the mile-long parade route, it was the children who often took a front row seat to watch all the action.
Seven-year-old Michael Hernandez came out with a bunch of his family members and friends. He couldn't leave until he saw the star of the night -- good ol' Saint Nick on his sleigh. "I can't wait until he comes!"
Many people here said the Candy Cane Lane Parade really gets them excited for Christmas. Visalia Police estimate more than ten-thousand people attended the parade.