While steady rain pounded the Hometown Christmas Parade in Merced this year, better weather conditions are anticipated for two other Christmas parades Friday in Atwater and Livingston.
Atwater's parade, sponsored and organized by the Atwater Chamber of Commerce, will start at 7 p.m. The event will kick off at Ralston Park, said Connie Hunter, chamber of commerce president. It ends at Fifth Street and Broadway Avenue.
The event will last until about 8:30 p.m., Hunter said. Santa Claus will bring up the rear of the parade in an antique fire truck.
The grand marshal for this year's parade is Chaplain Larry Lee of the Atwater Police Department. So far, there are about 35 entries in the parade, which is themed "Victorian Christmas Stories."
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Livingston's parade will start at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Park and end downtown, said Jacquie Benoit, recreation superintendent.
There are about 32 entries so far in this year's parade, which includes lighted floats, a marching band and cars. Santa Claus will also make an appearance at Livingston's parade.
With forecasts calling for clear skies, organizers expect good turnouts at both events.
"We're jazzed about it being nice," Benoit said. "We have never in our 10 years had a rain."
Jim Andersen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, doesn't anticipate any rain for Atwater or Livingston on Friday. Most of the day will be sunny, with partly cloudy skies in the evening.
Atwater will have a high of 61 degrees and a low of 44 degrees Friday, Andersen said. Livingston's high is 63 degrees with a low of 45 degrees. Temperatures will be in the mid-to-low 50s for each city as their parades commence.
Light winds of 5 to 8 mph are also expected, Andersen noted.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.