News


Downtown streets jammed for Saturday night's Hometown Holiday parade, tree-lighting

Turnout of thousands in parade and watching from the sidewalks could have been largest ever

Thousands turned out for Saturday night's annual Hometown Holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony in downtown Pleasanton, with the crowd possibly the largest ever for the three-hours of marching bands, floats, walking elves and, of course, Santa.

The award-winning bands from Foothill and Amador Valley High schools provided Christmas music with a marching beat as more than 3,000 joined in the parade while thousands more watched from curbside. Merchants doled out popcorn and special treats and many stores stayed open, filled with shoppers who took brief breaks from watching the parade to pick up a few early Christmas presents.

Following 30 minutes of caroling, Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, joined by Santa, pulled the 1920s-era switch on the review stand to light the colorful Christmas tree in front of the Museum On Main, shouting "Happy holidays and a Merry Christmas" to hundreds standing in front of the museum. She was joined by Council members Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan, with holiday greetings sent on Facebook by Vice Mayor Jerry Thorne, who was in Denver.

Almost balmy temperatures in the upper 50s and no rain greeted festival-goers, although a very light drizzle started just a few minutes after the tree lighting ceremonies ended. Main Street and some side streets that had been closed to traffic since 3 p.m. were gradually re-opened starting at 8 p.m. although restaurants and stores that remained open continued to be crowded well into the night.

Saturday night's parade and tree lighting ceremonies culminated several weeks of early holiday activity in downtown Pleasanton, which started Nov. 19 with "Magical Holiday Evening."

That was follow by "Earlier than the Bird," a merchant-sponsored shopping extravaganza that began at 7 a.m. the next day, Saturday, Nov. 20. "Black Friday," with its deep discount sales at Wal-Mart and Stoneridge Shopping Center, added to strong retail sales in Pleasanton with this weekend's festivities bringing in still more sales and, hopefully, profits to downtown merchants who have been struggling in the last two recessionary years.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by TriValleyGirl
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Come vote on this story at the TriValley Community Social Bookmarking Site. Web Link


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Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Anyone else annoyed with this being called a "Holiday Parade" by the City? I am.

www.hometownholiday.com

No mention Of Christmas on the city website. They call it the "Pleasanton Hometown Holidays Celebration" and a "Tree Lighting Ceremony" instead of a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Really? Come on. It sure isn't a Hanukkah Tree or any other Holiday Tree.

PC Police are everywhere these days.


Like this comment
Posted by somewhere in ptown
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Yes! Sad indeed that there are those who would rather than honor everything this nation was founded on appease those who would destroy it's very foundations by protesting what america and americans have always held dear to our hearts. Perhaps that's what's wrong with our nation and why we are where we are today. Well I've always believed and lived by the motto if there is something in life you cannot tolerate, want changed then begin by being that change! I say merry Christmas to everyone I can, I sway God bless you to everyone I can, I am not afraid to offend anyone and I will keep doing so and if Someone is offended well.. "This after all, is America, God is what this nation was founded on. If you don't accept that , perhaps you should visit or maybe move to another nation that doesn't believe in god. Tell me how that works out for you.


Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Did anyone notice the pictures posted about last nights Hometown Holiday Celebration are actually of last years event?


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Those of you who object to it being called a holiday celebration...are you aware that it was held in the middle of Chanukah? Good thing that your closed-minded, antiquated sentiments are of no importance in this community. Enjoy life in your caves...must be lonely in there.


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Steve,

So are you saying the tree was a Hanukkah Tree then? I've never heard of that. At the very minimum it should be called a Christmas Tree.

Also, it is just a coincidence the parade was held during Hanukkah. As you know, the days Hanukkah fall on change every year, and the majority of city Christmas parades aren't held on Christmas day either though.

Lastly, I don't see how my view makes me closed minded. I could say the same thing about you (i.e. you not being open to my idea), but that brings nothing to the debate. Why not bring factual points to the table like your first sentence did, and leave the name calling alone?


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Chris,

I think the pictures were first posted with the article informing us about the upcoming parade. I think the original article was posted in the morning Saturday. It looks like this article was just edited to talk about the parade in the past tense, but the pictures weren't taken out. With that said, if they are the same pictures (which I think they are) they should not be associated with this year's parade for obvious journalistic reasons.


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Pro-Law...since you seem to have such an issue with name-calling, am I wrong or did you refer to PC Police in your post? Glass houses and all, ya know? Happy Chanukah.


Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Whatever your opinion of calling it a Holiday Parade is that the city is required to not refer to anything in a religious manner. The ACLU searches all public institution's (city, schools, etc) websites for any religious reference and then sue.

What I think is much worse are all the private companies that promote and profit off the Christmas holiday, but then refuse to use the term Christmas and have actually fired employees for saying Merry Christmas to customers - extremely hypocritical.


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Steve,

It is a different. I was talking about people having to be politically correct in general. You instead directly said I have "closed-minded, antiquated sentiments" - because I don't agree with you on this topic. So anyone who disagrees with your opinion is closed minded, but people who think like you are open minded?

Being open minded doesn't I mean I have to accept all ways or all opinions. Being open minded means I've thought about both sides. I simply disagree with your side.


Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 5:16 am

No matter what you call it, it was a great parade. It was fun seeing so many young people, many in homemade costumes, marching and enjoying themselves.


Like this comment
Posted by Happy Solstice
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:20 am

Pro-Law: Chanukah bush


Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:38 am

@ Somewhere in PTown,

Your insinuation that if someone doesn't appreciate being wished a merry Christmas, they therefore don't believe in God was awesome- I almost fell out of my chair laughing. I had no idea there was anyone left who doesn't know there are non-Christian religions in the world. Thanks for the chuckle of and Happy Chanukah!


Like this comment
Posted by Xmas is a Department Store Holiday
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:50 am

Anyway.

Since it is secular, I think calling it a Holiday Parade, and enjoying it for what it is is just fine!


Like this comment
Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:15 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Including the self absorbed minority trying to redfine or water down the Christmas season.
God knows, your friends in the retail business have done a throrough job of trying to water dwon the meaning of the holiday that celebrates our savior's birth.
You can have your own holidays whenever you want and call them what you want---don't denigrate ours.


Like this comment
Posted by Maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

As a Christian, I celebrate this season because my Savior, Jesus Christ, was born.I don't look to any City, County, State or Federal entity, to validate my religious beliefs. I am not offended by the Holiday parade (I was there)or by being wished a Happy Holidays by the Safeway clerk. By exhibiting true Christian behavior I am glorifying my Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and being an example to the world.Join me and set the tone of this Holiday season as one of all people coming together in unity to celebrate what is good and righteous in life, not what is thrust upon us by this world.
Merry Christmas!


Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm

You can thank former Council Member, Becky Dennis for the name change. What once was the Christmas Parade for umpteen years, was changed to HomeTown Holiday Parade. She didn't celebrate Christmas and wanted it changed.


Like this comment
Posted by Just a thought
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

The tree is a Christmas tree. It is lit because it is Christmas.

The parade - that could be called a holiday parade - as we celebrate a few 'holidays' at this time of year. So, while I prefer "Christmas parade"...I have no issue with the "Holiday" name


BUT, anyone that can't call a Christmas Tree a Christmas tree is just fooling themselves.



Merry Christmas


Like this comment
Posted by Gary Schwaegerle
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Gary Schwaegerle is a registered user.

This is Great - Great Community & People taking an Active Roll of input. May Everyone have Blessed Holidays & a Prosperous Healthy New Year! Gary Schwaegerle


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I love SteveP's Merry Christmas message- it is so exemplary of what the season really means. Maybe your actions should speak louder than any name given to an event, then I would believe you really care about the meaning of Christmas.


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 2:33 am

"Really?",

Who are you saying, "Maybe your actions should speak louder than any name given to an event, then I would believe you really care about the meaning of Christmas," to? How do you know what anyone's actions currently here are that makes you believe whoever your are talking about does not care about the meaning of Christmas?


Like this comment
Posted by observation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:17 am

To "Pro-Law",

Because SteveP sounds like he thinks he owns Christmas. The parade was great, and I like the name.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Dec 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Should we just call the blue and white balloon thing at the mall a Holiday Candelabra? LOL Let's go back to the old days and call things what they are, and let everyone else call their holidays whatever they want (oh yeah, they already do). Something is wrong here people...


Like this comment
Posted by observation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm

"Let's go back to the old days ..."

What are you guys talking about? I think it was a pagan holiday before it was a Christian holiday. Things change. The parade was great fun and the Christmas tree looked great. People were happy. I don't remember hearing anyone complain about the name of the parade. Were any of you there?

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Jun 5, 2017 at 10:08 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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