Sights of the season
by Glenn Moore
Nov 30, 2012 | 6135 views | 24 24 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Downtown readies for Hometown Holiday
Pacific Display Inc.’s Nick Ferchau (left) and Jared Casto put finish touches on the holiday tree at the Downtown Plaza on Tuesday, Nov. 27 for Saturday’s Hometown Holiday celebration.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A holiday light parade through downtown Tracy will feature the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus followed by a tree lighting ceremony at the Downtown Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The annual Hometown Holiday celebration starts at

6 p.m. with a parade that begins at 10th and B streets and travels to Central Avenue.

The parade will turn south on Central Avenue ending at the Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street, where the holiday tree will be lit.

Even though the National Weather Service has forecast rain this weekend, Tracy City Center Association events coordinator Courtney Campbell said the parade and tree lighting will go on, rain or shine.

“It will be a fun event even if it rains,” she said.

The parade, which was inaugurated in 2008, again will feature cars, floats and walking groups decorated with holiday lights.

“When you think of Christmas and the holidays, you think of lights,” Campbell said.

Entering the light parade for the fifth year, Mr. Rooter plumbing service owner LeEtta Celestine likes the opportunity to get in front of the community with the company van decked in lights and garland.

Celestine said she participated in the Fourth of July parade but favors the festive wintertime procession.

“We can decorate more and the lights stand out better — it’s like a light show,” she said.

Like many others who entered, she plans to hand out candy and play Christmas music as her van is judged in the parade. The top three entries in the categories of car, float and walking unit will be announced at the plaza following the parade.

TCCA began preparing for the weekend celebration by moving the Santa Hut to a new spot at the Downtown Plaza on Monday, Nov. 26, squeezing it into place past light poles and street signs to a spot near the corner of Sixth Street and Central Avenue.

Crews also decorated downtown street lights, wrapping them with garland, lights, wreaths and bows.

The city’s holiday tree will also be lit at the plaza Saturday. Crews assembled the 30-foot-tall artificial tree on the grass at the plaza and decorated it Tuesday, Nov. 27.

“It really gives the downtown a holiday feel and brings everyone there,” Campbell said. “It will be a unique and beautiful way to see the downtown.”

Campbell said the plaza, which has hosted events ranging from the downtown block parties to a Cinco de Mayo celebration, will be able to hold the expected crowd.

That includes the line of children waiting to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus following the tree-lighting at the Santa Hut, a downtown fixture for years. This year, Santa will arrive onboard a Tracy Fire Department engine.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make stops at the hut from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8 and again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15.

Other Hometown Holiday events will continue downtown the weekend following the tree-lighting. On Dec. 8, holiday carolers and carriage rides will run through downtown from noon to 4 p.m.

Shoppers can visit select merchants from 10 a.m. to

7 p.m. Dec. 14 to get a downtown shopping bag, and holiday events wrap up with a special discount day at participating downtown merchants Dec. 22.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.
Comments
(24)
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alecm9311
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December 02, 2012
I may be an atheist, but the PC "holiday tree" thing has got to stop. It's a Christmas tree. Plain and simple. Just like the whole "happy holidays" thing has gotten out of hand...
dd95376
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December 01, 2012
It is actually a Holiday Tree and always has been. Some Christians in the 1500’s took an ancient Egyptian/Roman/Druid symbol and included it. The church has long suggested that holiday trees be left out of the holy celebration of the birth of Christ. If you celebrate Santa – an essentially pagan symbol – go ahead and call it a Christmas tree, but it is not a religious symbol tied to this holiday. In fact it is condemned in the Bible. You might, if you really celebrate a Christian Christ-mass, check out if the wise men were ever at the manger, how many were there, and could Jesus even have been born in December when shepherds were out in the hills. Come on. The tree is a pagan symbol and it is okay to have one, but it is not really a Christmas tree. However, those of us who know better will let you call it that.
Macpup
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December 02, 2012
This is a bunch of hooey! Santa Claus is derived from a gift giving bishop - Saint Nicholas. No paganism in either Santa Claus or the Christmas tree. Merry Christmas to you.
Bird_Man
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December 04, 2012
That's rich...

You and others are going to LET me call it that.

I have a Christmas Tree in my home. I celebrate Christmas. Any time I address anyone about the season, I wish them a Merry Christmas. If, in return they wish me a Happy Hanukkah, I say THANKS. Same goes for Kwanzaa or Boxing Day or whatever day they want to throw out. Shoot, wish me a Happy Solstice, I don't care.

If you and these "others" you refer to that claim to "know better" would spend a little less time getting your shorts in a bunch and would actually become a little more enlightened, maybe you wouldn't feel so threatened by a word or the world.

Merry Christmas dd95376.
pixiechk74
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December 01, 2012
Oh, come on.......call a spade a spade....it's a frickin Christmas Tree. If you going through all the rig-a-maroll to have santa & mrs.clause out there, carolers, & buggy rides out there call it a christmas tree. It's all part of Christmas!
doors17
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December 01, 2012
Call it anything you want. I don't care. Just make damn sure all of you put my expensive presents underneath it.
LAM75
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December 01, 2012
Right on doors17! Just make sure my expensive presents are next to yours. :-)
tracy-ed
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December 01, 2012
"Holiday Tree"....? Freakin' really?

Face it, we live in the politically correct, all inclusive, gender neutral, environmentally friendly People's Republic of California. It just keeps getting worse.

And our City Officials wouldn't want to risk taking a stand....

MERRY CHRISTMAS to one and all.
TracyNative
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November 30, 2012
Tradition is Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
MamaLlama
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November 30, 2012
This is a wonderful company!

Yay for Captain Christmas, also known as Lenny Hantz.

He's out there makin' thangs purdy near and far!!!
LuckyInTracyNot
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November 30, 2012
CHRISTMAS TREE! CHRISTMAS TREE ALREADY! HOLIDAY LIGHT PARADE?

Me and my family and friends and relatives are all BOYCOTING THIS HOLIDAY TREE!

BOYCOTTING THE HOLIDAY TREE ... UNTILL THE TRACY PRESS CALLS IT A CHRISTMAS TREE AND REGRETS THEIR COMMENTS!

HOLIDAY TREE? PATOOWEE!
backinblack
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November 30, 2012
Hey Ornley, Although I'm pretty sure we'll "meet" again before then, Merry Christmas to you and your family, matter of fact same to everyone else who partakes in our online adventures on this little ole website, and yes, DebbDaves you are included.

Time to go Christmas shopping, send out Christmas cards, put up our Christmas Tree and Christmas lights, and basically enjoy the Christmas season and all the fun which goes along with it.

jonpaul, Good job on acknowledging OG's very good point, we can't blame employees for poor decisions at the management or ownership level of businesses who choose to acquiesce to the misguided PC crowd.

Merry Christmas to all, ho, ho, ho.
sb2482
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November 30, 2012
Yes, it is a Christmas tree!

When New Years Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving Day and all other holidays have decorated trees downtown I will call this one a "holiday" tree. Until then, it remains and always will be a Christmas Tree.
jonpaul
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November 30, 2012
I Agree!!! What is this "holiday light parade" and "Happy Holidays" CRAP! IT IS A CHRISTMAS PARADE AND YOU SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! The next stupid cashier at WalMart that tells me "Happy Holidays" I gonna go off on them! Come on TP....say it like it has been said for hundreds of years...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 30, 2012
jonpaul

Don't "go off" on th cashiers they are only doin what thair told ta do by thair employment. Simply smile an say, "And you have a Merry Christmas too." They will understand an get th point.

An while we're on th topic of Merry Christmas, I hope you an yer family have a great one this year.
jonpaul
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November 30, 2012
Ornley_Gumfudgen:

You are correct....I like your approach better. I really would not go off on any WalMart employee...I was getting caught up in the moment..lol. The "Happy Holiday's" thing does rub me the wrong way though.

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! :-)

mommyofthree
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November 30, 2012
The holiday tree???? LOL You mean the CHRISTmas tree???
Seek_the_Truth
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November 30, 2012
We will be there for the lighting....making it a tradition for your family!
Macpup
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November 30, 2012
There is no such thing as a holiday tree! It is and forever will be a Christmas Tree. What is next? Calling Santa the Holiday Elf! Merry Christmas to All.
backinblack
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November 30, 2012
I say everyone boycotts the activities until The Press and everyone else involved calls the tree a Christmas Tree. This holiday tree nonsense needs to end and it's unfortunate this liberal & atheist agenda has made it's way into our little ole city.

I do not believe in a higher being so I'm not a person of faith which means I have no bias here, however, I believe as long as some 65% plus of people in this country are Christian the minority should not get away with forcing their idiocy down our throats. I also like certain traditions when it comes to Christmas. For those who get offended by the term Christmas Tree, here's an idea, exercise your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and leave. Go to the middle east to push your liberal, atheist agenda and see how far you get.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!

Thou tree most fair and lovely!

Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!

Thou tree most fair and lovely!

The sight of thee at Christmastide

Spreads hope and gladness far and wide

Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

Thou tree most fair and lovely!

oldleathers
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November 30, 2012
Right there with ya BIB! In a futile effort to not "offend" a minority the majority are force fed this crap at every turn and i'm "offended"!
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 30, 2012
An in th true spirit of Christmas BIB, I sincerely wish you an yer family a Merry Christmas an a Happy an prosperous New Year.
mfind
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November 30, 2012
To me it will always be called a christmas tree.
jessreidad
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November 30, 2012
It is a Christmas Tree.. Only haters call it a holiday tree. We are celebrating XMAS in the holiday season and I refuse to say Happy Holidays..

It is Merry XMAS and not Happy Holidays.

It is Xmas tree and not a Holiday Tree.

It is Xmas Lights and not holiday lights...


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