On the evening on December 10th 2016, Rio Linda held its first ever Hometown Christmas Light Parade, and what a parade it turned out to be!
After raining steadily for the two days prior, precisely at 10 minutes til six, the rain stopped and the parade started. Beginning at Westside Park on West 2nd Street, the group made their way down M Street to Depot Park where the Chamber of Commerce was waiting with hot cocoa, cookies, pictures with Santa, and the Visions Neighborhood Association followed that up with the lighting of the first RL/E Community Christmas Tree.
It’s estimated that over 2,000 people gathered along M Street to watch the procession which featured the Rio Linda High School Marching Band, Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost, Sacramento’s own Ghostbusters and the Liberty Ministries parade train, covered in over 20,000 lights and shooting out “snow” along the parade route.
There were RVs camped out in the library parking lot to watch the parade. Community member who live along M street hosted parade parties. The online comments were plentiful and superlative, with quotes like:
“What a great time. We just moved out here and absolutely love it.”
“Great job everyone who made this happen kids loved it. Cant wait till next year.”
“We had a great time. I hope this becomes a tradition. I can see this getting bigger and bigger every year.”
“It was AMAZING! I’ve never heard SO many people yell Merry Christmas at one time!”
“…saw friends who I haven’t seen in years so to reconnect with them was always a plus. Then sat and talked with a few people from our community it was nice having a conversation and meeting new people.”
In the end, there were over 60 entries, even after cancellations from a handful of groups including the Sacramento County Sheriff Mounted Patrol.
On Monday night, the Rio Linda/Elverta Visions Neighborhood Association awarded parade organizer Tabitha Worth a Certificate of Appreciation. It should be noted that Tabitha put this parade together in the ten short weeks following the Country Faire, which she is also heavily involved in. We’re lucky to have her in our community!
Plans are already being made for the 2017 parade, with some changes made from experience.
The Grand Prize winner were the Sacramento Ghostbusters, with second place going to the Green Acres 4H, and third going to Liberty Ministries and their snow shooting train.
The parade subcommittee would like to thank the judges for their assistance; Jason Green (Visions), Chantal Landstrom (Chamber) and Shelli Bolsover (Lions).
A huge thank you goes out to the many volunteers and sponsors, we couldn’t have pulled this off without you!
- Rio Linda/Elverta Visions Neighborhood Association
- Rio Linda/Elverta Chamber of Commerce
- Rio Linda Lions Club
- Rio Linda Elverta Recreation and Parks District
- A-1 Storage
- Papa Murphy’s Pizza
- Rio Linda Hardware
- Rio Trees
- A & J Worth Construction
- Charlie Horse Ranch
- California Highway Patrol
- Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
- Michael Huiras
- Robert Sanchez and family
- Betty and Chuck Price and family
- Many, many others who while not listed here because of my addled memory were no less important to the success of this event.