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Holiday season kicks off with parade in Roseville

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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The holiday season will kick off with plenty of celebration in Roseville this weekend, beginning with a parade downtown. The 50th annual Sylvia Besana Holiday Parade begins at 3 p.m. Saturday and will run east along Vernon Street from the intersections of Riverside Avenue and Douglas Boulevard and continue on to Folsom Road, ending at the Roseville Square shopping center. The parade will feature music from the W.T. Eich Wildcat Marching Band, Silverado Middle School, the Creekview Ranch Mighty Marching Raptors and the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band as well as 17 holiday-themed floats. “The parade usually lasts an hour to an hour and a half,” said Jamie Carlson, special event coordinator for the city of Roseville. “It’s kind of dependant on the weather.” Following the parade, the city of Roseville will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony and festivities with food and craft vendors, live music, entertainment and visits with Santa. Roseville mayor Pauline Roccucci and other city staff will switch on the lights of the city’s official Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Civic Center, 311 Vernon St. New to the festivities this year will be the Fruit Cake Fling, in which the Roseville police and fire departments will go head-to-head to see which agency can fling America’s least-favorite holiday treat the farthest. “Why not have a fruit-cake fling?” Carlson said. “Nobody eats them.” The cake-tossing contest will also be open to the public, with trophies awarded by age group, 4-7, 8-15, 16 and over, to the person who throws the most fruitcake through a designated target. For Eli Frank, owner of Rustic Grains Bakery on Vernon Street, the annual celebration is a welcome start to the holiday season and puts people in a festive mood. “It is a tradition here,” Frank said. “People come downtown and hopefully they will keep coming.” Chuck Bartlett, owner of Bartlett Flowers and Gifts on Vernon Street, said the annual event is great for families and has drawn more foot traffic to the downtown area. “All in all, it’s a great holiday event,” Bartlett said. “I’m curious to see how it will turn out this year with the weather.” According to the National Weather Service, there is a chance of rain in the forecast with high temperatures expected to reach 51 degrees on Saturday. Carlson said if it is raining, the city plans to move the entertainment and vendors into the bottom floor of the downtown parking garage across from city hall. “We had to do that last year and still had a pretty good turn out considering the weather,” Carlson said. “We’ll make the call that morning.” Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT. ---------- Roseville Holiday celebration schedule Nov. 19 3–5 p.m.: 50th annual Sylvia Besana Holiday Parade on Vernon Street 3–8 p.m.: Jingle Bell Tavern on Grant and Vernon streets; Craft and food vendors at the Civic Center parking lot, 311 Vernon St. 5–6 p.m.: Meet and greet Belle from Beauty and the Beast immediately following the parade, at Stand Out Talent at the Tower Theatre, 417 Vernon St. 5–8 p.m.: Bounce houses at Grant and Vernon Streets and 200 block of Vernon Street; holiday movies at the Civic Center parking lot, 311 Vernon St.; Street of Wreaths — vote for your favorite wreaths on Vernon Street 6 p.m.: Cookie decorating immediately following the parade, at Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St.; Ornament decorating immediately following the parade at reCREATE and MCYG Elite Celebrations, 230 Vernon St. 6 p.m.: Parade awards ceremony at the Christmas tree lighting stage, 316 Vernon St. 6–8 p.m.: Live performances immediately following the parade at Grant Street Stage, Christmas tree lighting stage, Tower Theatre and Roseville Theatre Arts Academy 6:30 p.m.: Christmas tree lighting celebration at the stage, 316 Vernon St. 6:30–8 p.m.: Visit Santa Claus at the Civic Center rotunda, 311 Vernon St. 6:45 p.m.: Blue Martini Party at Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St. 6:45 p.m.: Fruit Cake Fling at the Roseville Theatre Arts Academy, 241 Vernon St.