Uptown parade combines holiday cheer, rivalry jeers

first_imgWHITTIER – Paradegoers lined both sides of Greenleaf Avenue from Hadley Street to Mar Vista Avenue on Saturday to watch the 52nd annual Whittier Uptown Christmas Parade. A few were dressed in festive Christmas attire including red Santa hats with white fur trim. Many, however, donned their UCLA or USC sweat shirts and hats to show support for their favorite college football teams that faced off later that day. A few friendly taunts to the crowd came from people riding on floats and firetrucks. “Go UCLA,” one young girl called out from atop a firetruck. “It certainly is a new twist,” Christmas parade chairman, Jeff Langan said. “Even \ were teasing back and forth about the game.” School bands, community organizations, civic groups, city officials, and dance teams were among the 120 entrants. “We had a real good turnout this year – 20 to 25 more units,” parade organizer Larry Trujillo said. One dance group seemed to be the crowd’s favorite. Alma Latina de Lynwood was greeted with loud cheers and whistles as they performed their dance routine at the corner of Greenleaf and Mar Vista avenues. The Latina dance group wasn’t the only favorite. Whittier resident Amanda Saenz, 10, said she enjoyed the performance by Dance Image. “I liked that they were energetic, she said. “I also liked the horses. They are my favorite animal. A Christmas parade wouldn’t be complete without Santa Claus. Although parade organizers insist that the “official” Santa was the last entrant, another Santa appeared earlier in the parade playing a tuba and marching with the Pioneer High School Marching Band. “It’s very nice to see the marching bands,” said Pricellia Alason, 37, of Pico Rivera. Langan said the Whittier Police Department estimated the crowd to be nearly 35,000. It was a good parade this year,” he said. “It is always a challenge to come up with an interesting parade and keep its hometown feel.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more