GUSTINE — Holiday cheer, elves, snowmen and a dazzling Yuletide display of lights were among the sights Saturday at Gustine's annual Christmas parade.
Sponsored by the Gustine Chamber of Commerce, an "Olde-Fashioned Christmas at Home" included not only the parade, but also an array of activities in the downtown area throughout the day.
The celebration began with a free pancake breakfast at the Gustine Pentecost Society Hall put on by the Lions Club, which fed more than 820 people. The day continued with a craft fair of 40 vendors, and "Santa's Workshop," at which kids could partake in holiday-themed arts and crafts.
The event included dance routines by children's troupe Cornerstone Dance Crew, and the Gustine High School Cheerleaders.
Gustine Mayor Dennis Brazil lit the Christmas tree in the middle of Fifth Street, and the event ended with the Lighted Truck and Tractor Parade.
Fernando Simas, 41, of Los Banos drove a Kubota tractor with a Santa statuette holding a U.S. flag on the front of the tractor. Simas' tractor pulled the Salsa Family float, which honored the memory of late Gustine dairymen Angelo Salsa.
Meanwhile, Andrew Bloom, 32, of Gustine and son Colton, 2, drove a green John Deere tractor pulling the Bloom Farms float, which had a giant inflatable snowman.
Most attendees of the small-town holiday celebration described the event as their favorite of the year.
Joe Bettencourt, 50, of Gustine said he's been attending the event since it started more than 20 years ago, and always brings his kids.
"The lighted truck parade is a hit," Bettencourt said. "It's a good environment for people with kids, having the firetruck rides and arts and crafts."
Krista Duarte, 25, of Gustine said she doesn't have a particular favorite happening but loves the whole event. "It brings everyone home. It's a good-old family tradition," she said.
Donations along with hundreds of volunteers made the event possible, according to the Gustine Chamber of Commerce.