Raindrops don’t deter holiday celebration

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About 5,000 people donned rain gear and umbrellas this year to watch the Holiday Tractor Parade. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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Despite a rainy outlook, Winters residents and out-of-town visitors still came to partake in the local festivities last weekend in part of the Holiday Tractor Parade and Festival.

This year, the City of Winters hired Bay Area Pop Up Events to plan and organize the annual Winters Holiday Tractor Parade and Festival. The two-day event featured family-fun events on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3.

On Friday, a Holiday Marketplace took place in Rotary Park and along Downtown Main Street. The Winters Downtown Business Association organized the second annual Hot Cocoa Crawl and Elf Hunt. The Winters Middle School and High School bands gave a performance at the Gazebo prior to the annual Winters Tree Lighting Ceremony, and a special meet-and-greet event with Santa and friends.

Police Chief John P. Miller said Winters Police Department estimated 1,500–2,000 people attended the event on Friday.

On Saturday, multiple events occurred. The Winters Friends of the Library hosted its annual Family Holiday Festival in the Winters Community Center, including holiday music performances from students at Waggoner Elementary and Shirley Rominger Intermediate Schools. Outside, the Holiday Marketplace ramped up again and City staff set up barricades in preparation for the Holiday Tractor Parade.

Despite a downpour, the annual parade rolled down Main Street. Many fan favorites returned and a few new entries made a debut.

Miller said his officers estimated about 5,000 people showed up along the parade route. Which is about half of the number in attendance in 2021. The low numbers contributed to less traffic as well. Miller told the Express “whereas it took an hour to clear traffic last year, we began considering clearing from our traffic control points about 20 minutes after the event, but gave it another 10 minutes before ultimately clearing.”

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