If the Gilroy Christmas Parade forged ahead and braved the weather Saturday, it wouldn’t be the extravaganza’s first rodeo with slick conditions.
The popular spectacle – a fun-filled day packed with food, artisan vendors, a doggie dress-up contest and ceremonial tree lighting (not to mention a special guest performance this year by local “X Factor” alumnus Austin Corini) is no stranger to wet, drizzly conditions.
But given the gloomy forecasts predicting severe bouts of rain that will pelt South County this weekend, organizers are smartly playing it safe and rescheduling the parade and tree lighting to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.
“We have decided not to risk the safety of our participants, volunteers, committee members, vendors, sponsors, performers, elves and jolly old souls with what the Weather Channel says is imminent for Saturday,” says Coordinator Melanie Corona with the Gilroy Downtown Business Association. “We cannot imagine anyone enjoying being outside during rain that has the potential to cause flooding.”
While Corona acknowledged the date change may cause the loss of participation with some groups, volunteers and vendors, “we think that it is better to do this than run the risk of not having anyone show up at all,” she rations. “I thank you for your understanding and patience as we try to make this the best event possible for our community.”
Call Melanie Corona at (408) 842-0005 or email her at [email protected] with questions.
Downtown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting event, with special guest, “X Factor” star Austin Corini
Give the most magical time of year a grand entrance by celebrating Gilroyan style at the Downtown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting event Dec. 1.
From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., warm your hands with a cup of hot cocoa while mingling with family, friends and neighbors in downtown Gilroy to welcome another year of holiday cheer.
Nonprofit vendors from the community will raise money for their causes by selling baked goods, holiday crafts, ornaments, glowsticks and other festive goods. Vendors include Leadership Gilroy, Antonio Del Buono Elementary, Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA), El Roble Elementary, Gilroy Gators, Luigi Aprea, Eliot Elementary and South Valley Junior High.
The event will lend itself to an authentically Gilroy feel with Mayor Al Pinheiro and Welcome Center Director Jane Howard emceeing the evening’s happenings, said Melanie Corona, Downtown Business Association coordinator.
Teen girls also have a reason to squeal about this year’s tree lighting: Austin Corini, the CHS student and semifinalist in this season of FOX’s “X Factor” singing competition, will be spreading the merriment by performing four holiday songs on the main stage. Corini is also the honorary parade Grand Marshall, meaning he will be flashing that boyishly handsome grin and waving to everyone from Santa’s float.
Other main stage performances include the jazz a capella group Synchronicity of Monterey, Studio Three Dance, the Suzuki Violin Program, Christopher High School and Gilroy High School choirs and bands as well as Gilroy’s middle school choirs.
Dogs are welcome to join in on the cheer, and prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed pooch during the “Doggie Dress-Up Contest” that begins at 3 p.m.
The live performances kick off the event at 3 p.m. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. and the momentous tree lighting moment with Santa will be shared at 6:30 p.m.
Monterey Street will be closed to traffic, but parking is available in the surrounding lots of neighborhood streets, Corona said.
“This is really a community event. We are trying to support other nonprofits and invite people to come together to support the community,” Corona said.
A special honor will be given to the late Joe Duarte, who dressed up as the Grinch in parades of yore, and volunteered behind the scenes at the downtown Christmas event for many years.
The giant tree will be hoisted at Monterey and Fifth Streets and decorated this weekend in preparation for the festivities.
For more information, contact the Downtown Business Association at (408) 842-0005.
A Tuna Christmas
It’s said that laughter is the best form of medicine – and that may be especially true this holiday season as Limelight Theater in Gilroy presents a special comedy to raise money for Parkinson’s disease.
Laugh with the lovable redneck characters of the famous satire “A Tuna Christmas” this holiday season, a two-man show that focuses on the lives of people in the redneck town of Tuna, TX, and Limelight will donate $7 on every ticket to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s.
The play is directed by Steve and Kae Jenny-Spencer, theater veterans who have been actively raising money for the Michael J. Fox foundation ever since Steve was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005.
Kevin Heath, Gilroy Art Alliance director who stars in the play along with Bill Tindall of Morgan Hill, said reservations for the play are already filling up.
“For the first time as a theater, I’m looking at this and thinking we’ll have a full house every night,” Heath said.
Heath and Tindall play 11 characters each. Heath said the show retains a high level of energy with lightning fast costume changes and surprising character switches.
“I play everything from a 10-year-old boy to an 85-year-old woman,” Heath said.
As usual, guests are welcome to come early to the performance and bring dinner or snacks and mingle with their friends.
“We are the only theater we know of in a 100-mile radius that allows people to bring dinner to the show. We love that people can come in, relax, talk with their friends before the play begins. It creates such a positive mood in the theater so people can laugh together, or sometimes cry together, throughout the play,” he said.
Limelight will also be holding raffles at each show for gift cards to local restaurants, wineries, vacation homes, and professional portrait packages.
“A Tuna Christmas” opened Nov. 16. Performances are scheduled for Nov. 23, 24, 25, 30, and Dec. 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8. Tickets are $25, and reservations are recommended. For showing times, visit limelightactorstheater.com.