Community

Santa Claus gets a new ride for Festival of Lights Parade


Town Crier File Photo
Santa Claus, a popular presence at the Festival of Lights Parade, will ride in an updated sled this year.

This year’s Festival of Lights Parade is scheduled 6 p.m. Dec. 1 in downtown Los Altos. The long-standing tradition, now in its 42nd year, has a shiny new attraction – Santa’s sleigh has been refurbished.

After nearly 20 years in service, and with a stable of reindeer in support, the sleigh underwent a makeover. Grants from Los Altos Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Los Altos, The Grimm Family Fund and the Koster Family enabled parade organizers to update the sleigh, enhancing the parade’s grand-finale Santa appearance.

The renovated float featuring Santa and his reindeer now will be illuminated as they soar over twinkling rooftops, the sleigh offering a sneak peek of a red velvet bag filled with toys.

According to a representative of the all-volunteer, nonprofit Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade Association, “helping Santa takes a lot of work,” and the association needs support from the community.

The association counts on donations from residents to update and repair floats, create and maintain costumes, and offset other operating expenses. Its annual budget without a project like the Santa float is $22,000. A donation drive is scheduled this month, and residents may receive an envelope or email requesting a donation.

To donate online, to volunteer for the parade and for more information, visit losaltosparade.org.

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