Downtown lights up for Lights On Celebration

Dazzling floats and live performances delight Hollister locals

FESTIVE MOVES Jenny Camara-Ray, director of the Yamamoto Hula Ohana dance group performs with her young students at the 27th annual Lights On Celebration in downtown Hollister on Saturday.

Hollister locals came out once again to cheer on their family and friends at the 27th annual Lights On Celebration last Saturday in the city’s downtown.

A parade of floats festooned in lights marked the start of the holiday season as people lined San Benito Street to catch a peek and wave to a son, daughter, grandchild or neighbor.

Hollister resident, Rosa Pulido, sitting comfortably on a lawn chair in the mild early evening waited eagerly to see her grandchildren who were performing in the Hollister Dual Language Academy band.

“I like everything, it’s awesome,” she said.

Compared to last year’s festivities, which were marked with showers and a cold snap, the summer-like weather on Saturday created a welcoming atmosphere. Before the parade kicked-off at 5:30pm, a number of local performers sang and danced, enthralling the crowd.

“They did amazing,” said Stephanie Segura, whose 9-year-old daughter America performed a Polynesian dance routine with local troop, Yamamoto Hula Ohana.

“I love how the atmosphere is so small and homely,” said Segura about the event as families huddled together, sharing popcorn, bags of nuts or their own home-brought goodies. Every time a new group or singer performed in front of the growing crowd a pair of blond-haired toddlers took to the street and danced.

“It’s pretty neat, you see a lot of kids having fun,” said Hollister resident Richard Esparza, who came downtown with his wife, Stella. It was their first time at Lights On.

“Watching all the families come together to have fun and the community coming out to support it is great,” said Stella. “It’s a relaxing and good way to start the holidays.”

Cast members of the upcoming Elf Jr. musical playing at San Benito High School performed a couple songs.

“I thinks its fun and new for everyone,” said Lynn Love, who plays Jovie in the musical that starts Dec. 15.

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