Sunday, July 15 , 2018, 4:56 pm | Fair 77º


Local News

‘An Orcutt Christmas’ Includes Parade Under Sunny — and Smoke-Free — Skies

Kids, dogs, horses, classic cars, motorcycles and floats join 56th annual parade, this time dedicated to the late civic leader Joni Gray


With the temperature hovering near 80 and the sun shining brightly, it may have felt like summer. But Old Town Orcutt was celebrating Christmas on Saturday with the community’s 56th annual parade.

Approximately 80 entries traveled the route for the Old Town Orcutt Christmas Parade, with a theme this year of “An Orcutt Christmas.”

Children, dogs, classic cars, motorcycles, horses and floats rolled along Broadway and Clark Avenue as thousands of people watched from the sidewalks.

A food drive was held in conjunction with the parade to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County with entrants encouraged to make a donation to the organization.

Joanne Gardner, a longtime community volunteer and past Orcutt Lions Club president, served as grand marshal for the procession.

This year’s parade also was dedicated to the late Joni Gray, a life-long Orcutt resident, attorney and former Santa Barbara County supervisor who also was active in the revitalization of Old Town Orcutt.

Gray, who died Nov. 22 at age 75, was honored with the traditional Western remembrance of a riderless horse.

The Orcutt Community Foundation and the Orcutt Lions Club organized the parade, which was launched in 1961 by the now-disbanded Orcutt Volunteer Fire Department.

Organizers said parade awards will be handed out at a ceremony at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Orcutt Lions Club, 126 Broadway St.

The Orcutt parade occurs rain or shine — and this year despite the threat of smoke from the Thomas Fire and other blazes burning in Southern California.

Most of the smoke that has choked southern Santa Barbara County remained away from the Santa Maria Valley on Saturday.

While the Orcutt parade rolled out as scheduled, extremely smoky conditions — and heavy ash — forced the cancellation or postponement of numerous South Coast holiday celebrations this weekend.

Carpinteria postponed its Holiday Spirit Parade, planned for Saturday, because of the fire. Organizers hope to hold it next weekend.

Also canceled were the Goleta Old Town Christmas Parade, the Milpas Community Association parade and Santa Barbara’s Parade of Lights in the harbor this weekend.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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