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Holiday Lane draws crowds
Posted Dec. 5, 2007

The Holiday Lane Parade and Festival has become a new tradition for the city of Pomona. In its seventh year, the city has made it an annual event that brings the community together for the holidays.

“This event brings city pride,” City of Pomona Recreational Supervisor, Peter Gutierrez said.

“It brings community development and brings awareness to the community,” said Recreation Coordinator and ULV alumnus Ruben Trujillo.

The parade began at 10 a.m. on Saturday down Holt Boulevard and featured an array of talent that included local schools, associations and David Allen, columnist for the Daily Bulletin as the Grand Marshall. 

The festival took place at noon on Huntington Boulevard adjacent to Roosevelt Elementary School, which is located between Holt Boulevard and McKinley.

The family-oriented event attracted many Pomona residents who came out to enjoy the festivities.

“My family lives really close, we are right off of White Avenue and we rode our bikes down here,” Michele Hover, Pomona resident, said. “We are really blessed to have this event in Pomona.”

Hover and her family have come to the event every year that it has taken place and said that they meet new people every year and build communication with their community through this event.

The festivities featured live entertainment from local groups such as the youth Polynesian dancers, the youth Folkloric dancers, the Bagpipe Connection and Ganesha High School Band.

“It’s a very nice multicultural event and we try to make it something for everyone,” Gutierrez said.
“It brings a lot of tolerance to the community as well as a traditional thing for the family,” Hover said.

The event also included arts and crafts for families, a petting zoo, a climbing wall and actual snow.
 

“We have two arts and crafts tables and basically have parents helping their kids with the crafts,” Trujillo said.

Perhaps the most exciting aspects of the festival were the announcements of prizes, which included raffle winners and the announcements of the first, second and third place winners of the Holiday Lane home decorating contest.

The city of Pomona raffled off such prizes as the PlayStation 2 along with the popular Guitar Hero game as part of a fundraising effort for the city of Pomona, which provides local children with gifts for the holidays.

Cathyrn Golob, a young Pomona resident arrived with her family who purchased a raffle ticket and won the prize shortly thereafter.

“I felt glad, I wanted to get this for my family,” Golob said.

Adding to the flare of the night were the homes which were decorated for the Holiday Lane festivities.

With an elaborately planned scheme and pre-built decorations first place winner Timothy Jones and his family celebrated in victory as they won the $1,000 prize for best decorated home.

“I am excited; I have never won anything. This is a first,” Jones said. “It took about three weeks to put it together.”

The home featured a beautifully constructed arch leading into their “Ski Resort,” which included a yard filled with snow, a pine cone Christmas tree and an array of complimentary decorations to complete their theme.

This is the second year the Jones family has participated in the contest and they are already planning ahead for next year’s theme. They will be changing their concept, which they figure will prevent any duplication. 

Another home featured was that of France Chalfant, who did not place but in the spirit of the holidays and with her “Support the troops” message, hoped to do more than just win a prize.

“This is my fourth year and we do it for the kids because they love it,” Chalfant said.

“Everything I do is red, white and blue to show support for our troops.”

With many of the participants who held the same spirit of doing it for the kids and community the Holiday Lane parade and festival served its purpose by lighting up Pomona for the holidays.

Francine Gobert can be reached at fgobert@ulv.edu.