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Sonora Hoping For Return Of Christmas Parade

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Sonora, CA — The Sonora City Council endorsed the idea of bringing back the traditional downtown Christmas Parade held on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The Council voted 4-0 approve bringing back the parade, after taking a year off due to COVID-19, and the related street closures on that day. Councilmember Mark Plummer was absent and did not vote. Mayor Matt Hawkins noted that Plummer couldn’t attend the meeting because was out on a work assignment helping to fight a fire.

Despite the council vote, it was noted that moving forward with the parade is pending approval of the local Public Health Department, and the city has not received indication about whether it will be allowed to proceed forward. The city is hoping to hear back soon because Caltrans needs to issue a permit to close Highway 49 for the event. It was noted that Caltrans will only consider the request if it has the ok from public health.

Community Development Directed Rachelle Kellogg added, “It takes 6-8 weeks to receive an encroachment permit from Caltrans, so we are pushing up against the deadline.”

Also related to Christmas, city officials stated that about $50,000 worth of decorations, like the wreaths hung downtown, were destroyed in the Washington Fire. The previous supplier has gone out of business, so it is unlikely the city will be able to replace the specialized decorations that adorn poles prior to the coming holiday. However, there will likely be special banners hung downtown this season.

The city council was also prepared to vote on a request by Sonora High to hold its traditional downtown homecoming parade, but city staff noted that it was pulled from the agenda by Sonora High ahead of the meeting, as they are no longer planning a parade.

In other business, the council delayed taking action on filling two open Vision Sonora seats. A two-week postponement was granted at the request of Mayor Hawkins. He was pressed by other council members as to why he was not prepared to vote. He stated that one of the four applicants has since moved out of the city, and another has done some “anti-business things,” and he would like to speak to the person. He did not mention any names. A vote to fill the seats will now likely come during the first meeting next month.

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