35 years and still shining: Downtown Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade scheduled Nov. 25

Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Boy Scouts refurbish floats for the 2012 Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade, updating the lights and frames.

The all-volunteer Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade Association has scheduled the 35th annual parade 6 p.m. Nov. 25 along Main and State streets in downtown Los Altos.

Parade Association spokeswoman Nancy Schneider said 2012 “has been a busy and productive year” for the parade board and volunteers.

“We’ve been updating floats as well as costumes and have a spectacular float, ‘Winterland,’ in the works that will appear in the 2013 parade,” she said.

The 2012 affair will feature plenty of illuminated eye candy for parade viewers.

“We will have about 60 entries, including our local high school bands, costumed characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and entertainment groups,” Schneider said.

She said local Boy Scouts have been redoing some of the push floats, updating lights and frames, in their quests to earn their Eagle Scout ranks.

“It has been working out wonderfully,” Schneider said. “We have completed the Mouse with Candle float, the Snowman and the Jack in the Box.”

Scouts Jonas Schill and Charlie Kalcic are working to finish the Teddy Bear and the Rocking Horse floats by parade night.

Los Altos merchants founded the parade in 1977 to promote holiday business downtown. Inspired by Disneyland’s Electrical Light Parade, staging the annual event soon fell to local volunteers whose motivation was presenting a holiday gift to the community. Approximately 35 volunteers work yearlong planning and fundraising for the event, which draws thousands of spectators.

“To do all of these wonderful things, we rely on our generous donors, the people and businesses of Los Altos,” Schneider said. “We also have volunteers who will be out parade night selling glow necklaces and toys, with all profits going to the Los Altos Festival of Lights.”

Parade organizers are still having “significant problems” with people setting up before noon the day of parade, Schneider said.

“Items placed on the sidewalks before noon could be removed,” she said. “Please use blankets or chairs to mark your spot. Tape and chalk is not to be used. It stays on our sidewalks for weeks, and is an eyesore.”

The parade has a rain date of 6 p.m. Dec. 2, the following Sunday, should the Nov. 25 date be rained out. If a rain delay occurs, it will not be called until 3 p.m. parade day and will be announced first on the Festival of Lights Parade website. Schneider asked parade-goers to refrain from calling the police department about the parade and to check the website.

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