The cities of Sonora and Angels Camp will waste no time getting into the Christmas spirit following Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Freddy Gonzalez, of Sonora, helps to construct the Country Cowboy Church float on Tuesday for the upcoming Christmas Parade on Friday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2013.
Sonora will host its 30th annual Historic Downtown Sonora Christmas Parade starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday, rain or shine. A variety of floats will proceed down Washington Street, starting from the Red Church and spanning south to Restano Way.
“We have some new bands and businesses this year in addition to our old favorites,” Sheala Wilkinson, the city’s special programs coordinator, said of the parade’s 67 entries.
Tuolumne County Transit will provide free rides downtown on the “Holly Trolley.” Two parade bus stop locations — one at The Junction shopping center in East Sonora and the other at Columbia State Historic Park — will be available between 3 and 8 p.m. Friday.
The following day, Angels Camp will host its 23rd annual Christmas Parade.
The parade, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, will proceed down Main Street from St. Patrick’s Church south to Vallecito Road.
Longtime Angels Camp residents Bob and Marlene Bach will be this year’s parade grand marshals.
The couple are musicians, and they’ve performed together for church and community groups as well as in weddings and memorial services.
Bob Bach has held a variety of educational posts in Calaveras County, including principal of Bret Harte High School and Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools.
“We feel it’s a real honor to be asked to do this,” he said Tuesday.
The parade will also feature Santa Claus on a fire truck, live music, horses and vintage cars.
After the parade, there will be caroling by candlelight back up Main Street, and Santa will visit the Calaveras Visitors Bureau.
Merchants in both Sonora and Angels Camp plan to stay open late and offer refreshments during and after the parades.