Tractor Parade continues to delight

The Winters Holiday Tractor Parade is a newer tradition that accompanies the tree lighting, a tradition that has gone on longer than anyone can remember.

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The Quintana family sits at the same spot every Tractor Parade. They set up some lawn chairs, blankets and speakers in front of their house, then wait for the parade. They play music and pass out candy to keep passing children entertained as they wait for the tractors to roll down Main Street. The Winters Holiday Tractor Parade is a newer tradition that accompanies the tree lighting, a tradition that has gone on longer than anyone can remember. Kathy and Wade Cowan were among those who helped start the parade, but Wade has been wrapping the tree with lights for years. It takes Wade and his son, Matt Cowan, over two days to put up the lights. With the use of a reach lift donated by Mariani Nut Company, the Cowans string the tree with over 10,000 lights. As in years past, the parade was filled with entries hosted by local businesses and families. The Winters Theatre Company (WTC) pulled a trailer filled with the cast members of their holiday production, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Anita Ahuja, the show’s director, says that she had always wanted to be in the tractor parade, but didn’t have a tractor. Ahuja mentioned this to Robin Rominger, mother of one of the newest WTC cast members. Rominger donated the tractor, trailer and driver. The Brownson family decorated the tractor and trailer. From start to finish, the float came together in under six days. According to Justin Rominger, who drove one of the three tractors in the Rominger Brothers’ entry, all told the Romingers were responsible for five of the tractors and three of the trailers in the parade. One of those tractors went to The Friends of Winters FFA. This is the group’s second year in the parade. As part of a fundraiser for the program, they auctioned off a trailer ride through the parade. This year the Hoffman family of Dixon purchased it. Most floats incorporated their business or organization in the theme of the float. The joint entry for 3-R Rescue and Anytime Fitness included several inflatable dogs. Berryessa Gap used a grape harvester for their tractor. Hooby’s Brewing built a “Christmas tree” out of beer kegs. They included a small “under construction” sign on their trailer, which Chad Stocking says is an update to the town about their business. Funky Chicken Rescue, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit out of Vacaville, featured a sleigh pulled by cut-out chickens. Darci Smith says that the group wanted to join the parade this year because it was their first year as a 501(c)(3). The non-profit rescues chickens that are disabled or displaced. They recently took in a flock of nine chickens relocated by the Camp Fire. Funky Chicken Rescue also takes in horses, dogs and cats. Dixon Ridge Farms, featuring the dancing “Mom’s on Mopeds,” put string lights on the dancers as well as the tractor. Simones Ranches’ float featured the Grinch in a fireman’s jacket, along with a large sign thanking first responders. Many floats played music along the parade route. Many played traditional holiday music, others branched out. Markley Cove Marina and Berryessa Water Sports featured a live band playing Christmas and country classics on their entry. Eric and Bryan Weber of Weber General Engineering played ‘Let it Go’ from their “Frozen” themed float in the bed of a semi-trailer truck. Side-stepping the holidays in order to pick out some tunes, Green River Brewing Co. played Talking Head’s ‘Burning Down the House’ before they entered the parade. The Holiday Tractor parade takes volunteers to continue. The Cowans invite people to volunteer to help repaint the wooden candy canes that decorate downtown and serve as parade directors. [gallery jnewsslider="true" jnewsslider_zoom="true" size="large" ids="757301,757300,757299,757296"]]]>

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