Thousands pack Main Street for 70th Candy Cane Lane Parade

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's expected that 30,000 people showed up for the 70th Candy Cane Lane parade in Downtown Visalia.

The idea behind this year's parade theme was to bring it back to the olden days, hence the title, 'Vintage Christmas.'

All of the floats in this year's candy cane lane parade put on a show, and some even made snow. There were 112 entries this year, and all had a vintage, Christmas, or biblical theme. There were also marching bands and dancing groups.

And while it was far from freezing, crowds did what they could to stay warm. The Sequoia Visalia Kiwanis Club sold hot chocolate to raise money for high school scholarships.

"It's a great opportunity for the community Visalia and surrounding areas for everybody to come out and see a real nice parade," said Jerry Walkowiak.

Ramon Barrera kept his family warm with a personal heater he bought earlier in the day. It was their first time at the Candy Cane Lane Parade.

"Why not?" Barrera said. "It's a beautiful night, and we just wanna have a good time with the kids, and family."

Having a good time meant snagging a spot early. Parade organizers say some set up as early as 4 a.m.

Meanwhile, Visalia Police patrolled by bike and foot to make sure thousands of people stayed safe.

"Well it's pretty much for the most part all hands on deck for the Visalia Police Department, and then we also bring along our partners in law enforcement," said Visalia Police Lt. Candido Alvarez.

Even if it was for one day only, there was snow on the ground in Visalia, and plenty of Christmas cheer.

If you couldn't make the parade in person ABC 30 will air an hour long special of the parade on Sunday, December 13th at 7 p.m.

There were also awards for the best floats voted by a panel of judges. Here are the results:

Sweepstakes Award $500 for Best Decorated Float in the theme of the parade: George McCann School
Holiday Spirit Award $100 Best Decorated Float in the Christmas theme: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Judges Award $100 Best Float Under 20' in length: Mike Truesdell
Biblical Award $100 Best Decorated Float in the biblical theme: Parkside Chapel
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