Atwater prepares for 'Christmas on Broadway' parade Friday

About 50 entries are expected in Atwater’s “Christmas on Broadway” downtown parade Friday.

The Christmas event has been attracting crowds for more than 40 years, according to Connie Hunter, president of the Atwater Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the parade. Hunter said it begins promptly at 7 p.m. and draws crowds similar to those at the Fourth of July Parade.

Lt. Sam Joseph of the Atwater Police Department said the parade will begin at Third Street and Grove Avenue near Ralston Park, proceed down Third Street and turn west on Broadway. The parade turns on Fifth Street, where it ends.

Hunter said churches and school organizations will enter floats in the parade, and there will be vintage cars, motorcycles, color guards and bands.

“People love it,” Hunter said. “It is big. The community really supports. it.”

Santa Claus brings up the rear of the parade and will available to visit with children.

War veteran Ernie Conner is the parade grand marshal and bank manager Rob Cruz will be the master of ceremonies.

Joseph expects the parade to last nearly an hour.