The 66th annual Jaycees Christmas Parade will be held this Saturday, December 10. This celebration of “Main Street” Americana will include Boy and Cub Scouts, sports teams, equestrian units, high school bands, and lots of fire engines. About 10,000-15,000 spectators are expected.
The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. and follow Broadway from Escondido High School to Grape Day Park, about 1.5 miles.
One of the most interesting entrants in the parade will be “mud wagon” replica built from the group up by a crew based at the Escondido History Center. This replica was funded by a foundation grant from the County of San Diego for the Rancho Bernardo Historical
Society, but built at the Escondido History Center.
The mud wagon will be pulled by stately Percheron horses. Phil Ewing (the History Center’s master wainwright and blacksmith) led the crew of local men building the project.
Because it’s the 66th Christmas parade along Broadway, the theme this year is “Route 66,” the historic, iconic highway that millions of Americans drove to get their “kicks” in the 1950s and 60s.
The parade is put on each year by the Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce,) a group of Escondido residents who range in age from 21 to 40.
Keeping with Route 66 theme, the grand marshals will be C.A. & Debbie Stevens of former owners of Apple Valley’s old Summit Inn diner, which they owned for more than 40 years. The Summit diner burned down a few years ago.
Escondido Ears, the ham radio group, will furnish about 35 volunteers who will be positioned along the parade route. About 50 volunteers total make it all happen. Escondido Police Department will also be out in force with volunteer off-duty police to help keep the traffic in order.
There will be something more than 103 entries in the parade. Many of them will be returning participants.
There will be several Boy and Cub scout troops marching, members of local folkloric dancing groups, softball teams, members of local royalty, i.e. Miss Valley Center, Miss Rancho Bernardo etc., all four marching bands from Escondido’s four high schools and Valley Center High School.
There will be a goodly number of mounted groups, such as the Escondido Mounted Posse, as is traditional,
Santa Claus will bringup the rear, riding on a big fire engine. Speaking of fire engines, there will several engines provided by the Escondido Fire Department, including an antique 1926 American La France fire truck and several trucks from Western Heavy Equipment.
Several classic car groups are expected to participate, taking advantage of the Route 66 theme.
Besides the “mud wagon” the Escondido History Center will also provide a Model T from its collection.
VIPs will include Mayor Sam Abed, members of the city council, and Assemblywoman Marie Waldron of the 75th District.
Awards in 16 categories, such as walking groups, floats, bands and equestrians will be given trophies. The trophies will be handed out at a stage that will be provided by the USA Multicultural Holiday Festival, which will be taking place immediately after the parade at Grape Day Park.
Christmas on Maple
Also taking place after the parade will be the 5th annual Christmas on Maple, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This event follows the 66th annual Jaycees Christmas Parade with lots of fun FREE activities for your family.
Did you make your list and check it twice? Come shop at our Holiday Boutique where organizers have assembled over 50 plus vendors selling unique and hand-crafted items to help you finish your holiday shopping. There really is something for everyone, including your pets.
Many small local businesses and restaurants have deeply discounted specials for the holidays.
Highlights of Christmas on Maple include: FREE Teddy Bears while supplies last. Crafts for children. The Civic Youth Orchestra Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Orchestra. 50 Plus Vendors at the Holiday Shopping Boutique. Photo Op with Santa – Tired of the long lines at the Mall? Bring your cameras and cell phones and get a picture with Santa. Decorate Sugar Cookies with sprinkles and frosting an all-time favorite courtesy of Major Market Letters to Santa with Santa’s mailbox. Christmas Carols spun by fantastic DJ Bob. Gourmet food trucks
Local Business and Restaurant Specials
USA Multicultural Holiday Festival – Grape Day Park
After the Christmas parade, head over to Grape Day Park and continue the celebration at the Multicultural Holiday Festival in Grape Day Park from 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Bring the kids and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.