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Christmas miracle for parade
Some may call it a miracle, others plain luck. Whatever the description, Old Man Winter held off the worst of Saturday's weather until the final entry in Hometown Christmas Lighted Parade marched down the main street of town.
"I say it was a miracle," said Chamber of Commerce Manager Valanne Cardenas.
But the very threat of bad weather seemed to have put a damper on the Chamber of Commerce sponsored 17th annual Hometown Christmas.
Solano Street was practically bare of food and craft booths, as well as visitors on Saturday, and the Lighted Parade was less than half the length of years past.
"The weather did hinder the event," Cardenas said. "I think people didn't trust the weather would hold and they didn't show up, but those who did had a good time."
The day began with the Knights of Columbus and Corning volunteer firefighters serving up a hot breakfast, including some delicious Mickey Mouse-like pancakes, at the Fire Hall on Fifth Street.
Throughout the event, the Hometown Christmas Express offered free train rides up and down main street, and the arrival of Santa Claus in a bright red suit riding a bright red fire engine brought quite a stir among the youngsters.
"The train seemed to be full with riders most of the day," Cardenas stated.
The Jolly Old Elf spent the afternoon having his picture taken with "good little boys and girls" who whispered their Christmas wishes into his ear.
Food and craft booths could be perused at the Veterans Hall and Corning Glass, but the pickings were slim this year as many vendors stayed home afraid the weather would keep shoppers away - which it seemed to do.
The artwork of local artisans was on display at Edward Jones Investments adding a bit of culture to the holiday amusement.
As darkness arrived so did the Lighted Parade, featuring a few brilliantly lit floats, music by the Corning High School Cardinal Band, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, horseback riders, olive oil makers, some royalty and 4-H clubs. Missing this year were the big-rigs and historical tractors decked out in holiday glow.
Maybe next year the "bigness" of Hometown Christmas will be back in the Olive City.