Christmas Parade tonight

Union Democrat staff

The 29th annual Historic Downtown Sonora Christmas Parade is set to roll down Washington Street tonight, with dozens of flashy floats and hometown heroes taking part.

The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Church, and will proceed down Washington Street to Restano Way.

The event goes on rain or shine.

Parking will not be allowed along Washington Street between 2 and 8 p.m. today. The rule now includes side streets that access the highway between Elkin Street and Toby Lane in Sonora.

Free parade shuttles will start running at 3 p.m., making loops between Columbia, the Mother Lode Fairgrounds and The Junction shopping center until 5 p.m. After the parade, the shuttle service will resume until 8 p.m.

The county transit agency's "Holly Trolley" service also will offer transportation throughout Sonora and Tuolumne County all day for $1.

Merchants along Washington Street will be open tonight, and many offer free snacks.

Santa Claus will take visitors at the Heart Rock Cafe.

This year's parade features 72 floats.

They'll range from a float depicting Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story" to mobile platforms for musicians and dancers. Many participants in previous parades are returning this year.

The Union Democrat
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