Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Rain Doesn't Dampen Annual Christmas Parade

Mayor Daryl Busch greets the crowd during Saturday’s annual Christmas parade
Mayor Daryl Busch greets the crowd during Saturday’s annual Christmas parade.

The City’s annual Christmas Parade showed that nothing can dampen the holiday spirit of Perris residents.

Conditions were damp and dreary during the parade Saturday, which featured an elephant, llamas, horses, floats, classic cars, marching bands, military units and precision drill teams. But the rain and clouds did not wash away the enthusiasm of participants and City staff who worked to make the parade a success.

Mayor Daryl Busch called the turnout fantastic.

“It’s a beautiful day for a parade,” he said. “We need the rain and we’re having our parade. I am glad for the rain and the parade.”

This marching band did not let the wet weather dampen their spirit during the annual holiday celebration
This marching band did not let the wet weather dampen their spirit during the annual holiday celebration.

Busch rode the parade route in a classic car, then watched the following entries from a spot on the judging stand. Other members of the City Council—Mark Yarbrough, Rita Rogers and Joanne Evans—also rode the parade route. Councilman Al Landers, as he has for the last eight years, announced the parade, assisted by City Clerk Judy Haughney.

“This parade is one of the signature events in the City of Perris,” Landers said. “It is one of our jewels. Even though the weather is not the best, the outpouring of support is tremendous.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough said succinctly: “It’s a great parade.”

Marching bands and drill teams began gathering hours before the parade kicked off, rehearsing their routines in the Perris High School parking lot. Tim Poseley, 18, led the contingent from the Perris High School Army Jr. ROTC. They all wore camouflage outfits for the parade.

A precision rifle drill team in action
A precision rifle drill team in action.

“We’re proud to be out here because we like to do things on behalf of our City,” Poseley said. “When we get smiles on the faces of the audience as we march past, that serves as a motivation for us.”

Yolanda Williams, who helped judge the bands, dancing groups and other parade entrants, said she wasn’t surprised the rain didn’t wash out the fun.

“No matter what happens, the good, the bad or the rain, this community comes together to support Perris,” Williams said. “We love our beautiful community.”

Allyson Mallory, the assistant principle of Good Hope Elementary School, said the 120 students who rode in their “winter wonderland” parade couldn’t be discouraged either.

Little elves riding down Perris Boulevard
Little elves riding down Perris Boulevard.

“The weather is a little obstacle to overcome,” she said.

Sixth-grader Jessie Diaz echoed her sentiments.

“We’re going to sing our school cheer,” he said. “It’s neat to be out here. It builds the Christmas spirit.”

The crowd that gathered along Perris Boulevard to watch the festivities was equally enthusiastic. People took in the parade under a canopy of colorful umbrellas. Many snapped pictures as the entries moved on past, while others recorded the action and still others cheered.

Rosie Munoz-Garcia and Louise Rico met each other for the first time standing along the parade route. Both were pleased they did not let the weather keep them away.

City Councilman Al Landers and City Clerk Judy Haughney announced the parade
City Councilman Al Landers and City Clerk Judy Haughney announced the parade.

“It’s a beautiful day for a parade,” Munoz-Garcia said. “You meet a lot of nice, wonderful people. I enjoy the excitement, the people, the floats. It’s all wonderful.”

Rico brought a contingent of six, including her nephew and grandchildren. She said the parade was the perfect elixir to take her mind off the bad economy.

“It distracts you from your personal woes,” she said.

 

See more photos on the City's Facebook page!

 

At 9,000 pounds, Tai, an Asian elephant, was the biggest participant in the holiday parade
At 9,000 pounds, Tai, an Asian elephant, was the biggest participant in the holiday parade.