Thousands turned out for the light parade

PASO ROBLES — Santa is officially here, Paso Robles! On Saturday, Dec. 4, Paso Roblans from near and far turned out for the 60th Annual Christmas Lights Parade in Downtown Paso Robles. 

Parade floats and groups trailed down Spring Street decked out in lights and their best holiday cheer. This year’s parade theme was “Country Christmas Memories.” 

For 60 years, the parade has gone down Spring Street, but it wasn’t always an illuminating nighttime event. According to our forever queen, Norma Moye, the parade was originally a daytime event. At some point, they decided to move the parade to nighttime, becoming the Light Parade.

According to Susanne Anshen, Executive Assistant at Paso Robles Main Street Association, other than the time of day, the parade hasn’t changed much. She says floats continue to become more elaborate.

“This was a phenomenal [parade] because people were very excited about getting out and all the floats were absolutely amazing. It was exciting. Everybody had a really good time,” says Norma.

She continued, “It was well done. We had good help because volunteers are hard to get, and we had the best.”

Zoo to You’s float was Norma’s favorite and therefore won the Sweepstakes award.

Santa Claus told Paso Robles Press that the Snow King and Queen told him there were more people at the parade this year than they have seen in 15 years. 

He said, “It was pretty exciting actually, even for an old Santa—It [the holidays in Paso] is the highlight of my year.”

Santa will be coming to Paso again for the 35th Annual Vine Street Victorian Showcase drive-through on Saturday, Dec. 11. Santa will be driving up and down Vine Street with Mrs. Claus and the Snow King and Queen. 

In the end, Santa says his favorite part of the parade was, “Watching the children’s faces light up. As you get older, you tend to think the kids don’t get excited anymore. That’s probably the highlight is seeing the kids’ faces and hearing them screaming.”

Santa will then be available for visits and photos at the Holiday House in City Park from Dec. 12 to 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.