Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mountain Democrat to continue McIntire Family tradition

DSC_5965 ec

SANTA CLAUS goes over route plans for this year's Christmas Parade with Cathy McIntire Patterson, left, representing the Hangtown Chirstmas Parade's founding family, and Richard Esposito of the Mountain Democrat Newspaper, center, the parade's new sponsor. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

By
From page A1 | October 11, 2013 | 1 Comment

Disappointed that last year’s Christmas Parade was cancelled due to a downpour, a committee of local residents, with the Mountain Democrat taking the lead, have promised that this year’s parade will take place.

Last year’s parade was cancelled after the city of Placerville decided inclement weather made it too hazardous to proceed.

But that decision was roundly criticized by those who spent hundreds of hours organizing and preparing for the parade and who braved rain, wind, snow and sleet in years prior.

Also upset were the Toys for Tots volunteers who rely on the parade to supply a large portion of the toys they give to children at Christmas. Luckily, they were able to largely recoup their losses by collecting gifts the following weekend at the Belltower.

This year, supporters were worried the parade would again be cancelled due to continuing hard feelings between the city and the McIntire family, the family that started the parade, until Richard Esposito, publisher of the Mountain Democrat, stepped in and said the newspaper would sponsor the event.

With that commitment in place and a coordinating committee comprised of Mountain Democrat personnel, City Parks and Recreation Director Steven Youel, Jill Baker, Cathy McIntire Patterson, Adam Levine, J Stirling, Norm Hammond, Placerville Police Lt. Kim Nida and Sue and Hollis Henderson with Toys for Tots, the parade was back on.

35 years and counting

A celebration of Christmas as well as a kickoff event for the Toys for Tots campaign, the Christmas parade in downtown Placerville had its start in 1977. Cathy Patterson said it was her father, Jim McIntire, who established the parade after friends suggested it to him. Being very civic-minded, he came home one day and said to his family, “this is what we’re doing.”

There were only about 10 entries the first couple of years, but since then it’s grown and grown and become a tradition, said Patterson. There have only been five or six years when the weather was really bad, but nonetheless the parade took place, at least until last year.

The story of how the parade got its reputation for being held rain or shine dates from an event that happened five or six years after it started, according to J Stirling, who’s been marshaling the parade since it began.

It was a particularly miserable day for the parade, he said, with lots of rain and sleet. The decision was made not to hold the parade, with those in charge adjourning to the Cary House.

Stirling said he and his fellow marshal Skip Gilmore were walking up and down the staging area when they spotted a little girl, 8 or 9 years old, in a buggy with her pony. She had taken protection under an overhang and was dressed to the nine’s in her velvet dress. She was miserable and cold but she was ready.

“I told Skip, I’m not telling her we’re not having a parade after she’s been up since 3 or 4 a.m. getting herself and her pony ready. Skip didn’t want to have to tell her either. So we lined everyone up and sent the parade downtown,” Stirling said.

Later someone went to the Cary House and said to the folks in charge, “Nice parade.” They said, “What parade?”

“After that, rain or shine became our motto,” said Stirling. “We have done it in rain, snow, hell or high water. We were all very disappointed when it was called off last year because of the rain downtown, but that was the city’s call. It broke quite a few peoples’ hearts. But I’m glad to see the Mountain Democrat stepped up to make sure the show goes on.”
The parade means a lot to people,” said Esposito.

“When I heard that it might not take place without our involvement, and the possibility of losing this wonderful El Dorado County tradition, I felt it deserved to continue on. The newspaper was in an ideal position to take it on as we have people who have been involved with the parade since its inception. They have a real good understanding of the inner workings of what it takes to put the parade on,” he said.

Capturing the spirit of Christmas

“We will hold true to what folks did in prior years,” he said, “but with better staging.”

Broadway Plaza has been designated as a new staging area, replacing the Mountain Democrat parking lot, now leased to Tractor Supply Co.

“We would also like to include some marching bands but we don’t know if that will happen since school will be out of session and the parade falls on the Thanksgiving weekend.

“One of the most exciting parts of this year’s parade, will be a tribute to Jim McIntire, who will be the grand marshal. Since the beginning he has helped select the grand marshal but never held the honor.

“It was sure a feat for someone like Jim to take on this parade year in and year out, to organize it and get it done every year for the kids,” Esposito said.

“However the main focus will be on the parade as a way to provide Christmas toys for children and Christmas spirit for the community,” said Esposito.

“What we hope we can capture is the true spirit of what this parade is all about. It’s about the children. Children who are disadvantaged and don’t get to celebrate Christmas like other kids. Even with the parade called off last year, they were still able to collect a lot of toys and some cash to buy toys. And that was awesome. People came out and rallied around the kids and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

The parade will be held Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m., along Broadway and Main Street in downtown Placerville. Esposito said it will be held rain or shine, but if an earthquake happens and all the buildings fall into the street, well, that may be another matter.

People can pick up an application to be in the parade at the offices of the Mountain Democrat, 2889 Ray Lawyer Drive, or the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, 542 Main Street. Applications can also be downloaded from their respective Websites. Completed applications can be turned in at both locations as well as the city of Placerville Parks and Recreation Department, 549 Main Street. There is no cost for being in the parade other than an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl.

For additional information, call the parade hotline at 530-344-5088.

So put that date on your calendar now because rain or shine, the parade is on!

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • ZapOctober 12, 2013 - 7:13 am

    Yeh! Santa's back in town. Thank you Mt. Democrat and all who are making this happen.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 15 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 36 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments