The Los Banos Chamber of Commerce is taking entries for the 28th Downtown Christmas Parade.
The parade draws hundreds of people every year to watch the floats, marchers, bands and riders on horseback as they venture north on Sixth Street toward Henry Miller Plaza. This year’s theme is “A Disney Christmas.”
“Disney is a magical place. We want to bring some of that magic home to Los Banos,” said Geneva Brett, chamber president.
The parade averages 50 entries but organizers are hoping to surpass that number this year, according to chamber of commerce administrative assistant Mercedes Menchaca. She has received inquiries about some entries that would be unusual for the event, but declined to state what they are until a firm commitment is made.
Menchaca said the parade has six entries thus far, but she believes residents will rush to participate as soon as they know applications are available. The chamber has applications at its office, 535 J St., and online at www.losbanos.com.
Brett said applicants should write a paragraph or two about their entry on the back of the application to help the announcers describe it to the public. Brett said businessman Joe Ferry has agreed to be an announcer this year and she’s working toward getting a commitment from one other person to assist.
Jerry Knoester, interim executive director of the chamber, said he believes the parade has been so well attended through the years because people enjoy seeing their friends and family.
“The anticipation and excitement of who is in the floats is what draws people,” he said.
The parade starts on Sixth Street near K Street and turns left on I Street, ending at Henry Miller Plaza. The plaza is home to the award ceremony that always follows the parade and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. School marching bands also lead the crowd in singing Christmas carols.
Brett said she views the parade as one of Los Banos’ great free events.
“My expectation is a good time will be had by all,” she said.