Spreading holiday cheer

On Dec. 8, 2013, the Downey Police Department commences the annual Christmas parade on Downey Ave. The parade was presented by the Downey Chamber of Commerce.

Gabriela Sanchez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Crowds cheered, dance groups performed, and horses stampeded down Downey and Florence Avenues on Sunday, Dec. 8 for the Annual Christmas Parade to celebrate the upcoming holidays.


The streets were surrounded, sidewalks congested, and bystanders stood on their toes to snatch a view of the parade walkers marching and waving down the road.


Local residents propped up their banners, displaying their businesses, organizations, and dance classes. The fire department waved while perched on their red trucks and were followed by a Wells Fargo carriage and Mario A. Guerra, Downey’s mayor, who waved to the crowd with his wife and two children smiling and sitting in a vehicle behind him.


The entertainment riled up the audience, evoking a storm of applause. The Ballet Folklorico of the city of Bell Gardens performed its traditional dances, the performers ranging from young children to more skillful teenagers. The hula dancers, with their elaborate costumes brought smiles to the watchful crowd.


Daniela Perez, a ten-year-old student from Mrs. Tuley’s Hawaiian dance class strutted down the street with flowers in her hair and a grass skirt and enjoyed the animated viewers.


“I felt excited and then worried that I might do a step wrong, but it was easy,” Perez said.


Families joined the fun, and parents brought their young children to enjoy the festivities and the environment.


Maley Rodriguez enjoyed the parade on the sideline along with her husband and two young children.


“[My favorite part was] the ambiance and everyone is so friendly,” Rodriguez said.  “There’s no hushing.”


Other parade viewers observed the passing marching bands and dancers, solo or with their pets.


“My little cousin is in the parade; he’s in band for Bert Lynn Middle School,” Krystal Cortez said with a small pooch in hand. “I brought my dog so he come out and enjoy it with me.”


The residents of Downey and surrounding cities amped up for the month of December, the time for joy, unity, and community to come together and celebrate holiday cheer.