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Pleasanton holiday parade draws thousands

Main Street jammed despite near-record cold

Thousands turned out to watch Pleasanton's popular Hometown Holiday Parade Saturday night despite near-record cold temperatures and a heavy rainstorm that, fortunately, ended before the day began.

Estimates indicated that more than 10,000 watched the parade from sidewalks along Main Street as nearly 3,000 others marched, walked or rode in the parade.

Michelle Stearns of the city's Parks and Community Services Department and this year's parade coordinator for the final year supervised a field of volunteers to keep the parade moving.

This year, the marching bands from Foothill and Amador Valley high schools were asked to pause at the three reviewing stations to play a few holiday tunes before moving on.

A total of 73 separate entries marched, rode and walked in the parade with many decorated floats, vehicles and Scouts and other organizations joining in. Announcers described each group from the reviewing stations as they came by.

Scores of holiday inspired entries paraded down Main Street including the Pleasanton Weekly's Holiday Fund car, the Centerpointe Presbyterian Church men's club's Balloon Platoon, a horse-drawn wagon carrying the Pleasanton City Council, hundreds of Cub Scouts and Brownies, local car clubs and dog clubs, and many more.

Main Street was closed to vehicular traffic for the parade but many merchants and all of the restaurants downtown were open to take advantage of the crowds out front.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Color Guard added patriotism to the event with Santa Claus, riding atop a fire truck, adding to the Christmas excitement.

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