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Residents welcome the holidays in Roseville

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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Thousands of people lined the streets Saturday afternoon to brave the chilly weather and welcome in the holiday season with the city’s annual parade. The 50th annual Sylvia Besana Holiday Parade began at 3 p.m. and ran east along Vernon Street from the intersections of Riverside Avenue and Douglas Boulevard and continued on to Folsom Road, ending at the Roseville Square shopping center. The parade featured 90 entrants, with plenty of holiday-themed floats, classic automobiles, equestrian groups, marching bands and more. Sherri Calderhead was marching with her daughters in junior Girl Scout troop 1628 and Brownie troop 2173 and said she was happy it did not rain this year. “This is our fifth year we’ve been in it,” Calderhead said. “It was colder last year, and it was threatening to rain. This is much better. It seems like there’s a lot more crowds.” Many of those who came out for the parade and the festivities said they did not mind the cool weather, that they were just happy the rain stayed away this year. “We had a better turn out than I’ve seen in a long time,” said Jeff Carman, who was marching in the parade with the Roseville Fire Department. “It was nice to have the cool weather, it gets you in the festive mood.” Sheri Lira grew up in Roseville and comes every year to watch the parade with her friends and family. “I think it’s awesome,” Lira said. “And the firefighters were really hot.” Jay Johnson, who is also from Roseville, said he was impressed by the Roseville Police Department’s motorcade, which put on a display of drills and skills. After the parade, the parking lot at City Hall was transformed into a holiday arts and crafts fair, with boutique vendors, art galleries and hot food provided by Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, Bubba’s Barbecue, Java Jungle and more. At 6:30 p.m., more than 400 people lined Vernon Street next to City Hall as Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci and Santa Claus plugged in the city’s official Christmas tree, which is adorned with more than 5,000 LED lights. The festivities continued on into the evening, with bounce houses for children and the first-ever Fruit Cake Fling, where residents competed to see who could toss America’s least favorite holiday treat into a small target. A giant inflatable screen was also set up showing animated holiday classics such as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and others. Lena Lewis, of Antelope, said she enjoyed the parade and the festivities. “It was really cool,” she said. “I think it fired everyone up for the holidays.” Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.