Winter weather could freeze out Victoria Christmas parade


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• WHAT: Lighted Christmas Parade

• WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

• WHERE: DeLeon Plaza



It will be cold, and possibly wet, for Victoria's annual Christmas Lighted Parade on Saturday. There is a 50 percent chance of rain, and the temperatures are expected to peak at 40 during the day and could be in the high 30s by parade time. Saturday night's low is expected to be 34.

Officials will announce Friday whether the winter weather creates a need to cancel Saturday's parade.

Floats glowing with Christmas lights and glistening Rudolph noses will shine bright at DeLeon Plaza for the 2013 Christmas parade Saturday evening.

The parade, which starts at 6 p.m., includes 136 entries and a first-year window decorating contest sponsored by the Main Street Association.

While the lighting of the square event has been canceled for Friday evening, city officials are expected to announce Friday whether the inclement winter weather will create a need to cancel Saturday's parade.

Deanna Evans, an administrative assistant at Caterpillar, said this year, the company has its sights set on winning one of the coveted parade awards. Because a Caterpillar employee was a judge last year, its float was out of the running.

"Lots of people mentioned last year that if we had been able to be judged, we could have won," Evans said. "We still had a great time doing it, so we didn't care that we couldn't be in the competition last year."

Of the 146 entries last year, Fight For Sam won most spirited, Crossroads Veterinary Clinic won most creative, Martin Luther Lutheran Church won best use of lights, and Sonic Drive-In won most use of lights. Officials estimated last year's crowd was between 10,000 and 15,000 parade-goers.

Evans is directing the Caterpillar float project this year with Jana Mitchell, a manufacturing analyst.

While there will be slight changes to the design, the overall theme will remain the same. Parade-goers will see Snoopy delivering presents by way of North Pole reindeers and a Caterpillar excavator, the same kind manufactured in Victoria.

Tiffany Rigby, a spokeswoman for Caterpillar, said the rules had an impact on their design.

"The rule of the parade is that only the Victoria Santa Float can have a Santa on it," she said. "It's a challenging rule when you're trying to make a float."

Ultimately, the parade is in line with the company's involvement in the city, she said.

"For Thanksgiving, we did a facility-wide potluck lunch where all the employees brought in their favorite family Thanksgiving recipes to share," she said. "We do a lot for different holidays throughout the year to build community throughout our own facility."

Mitchell said regardless of the rules or the float contest itself, spreading the Christmas spirit is what matters.

"Last year, we had so much fun," she said. "When we do the float, it's another opportunity for all the employees to get together from different departments and work together. We probably have too much fun."

Officials are cautioning parade-goers to dress warmly for Saturday night's event.

Mitchell said they're hoping for cold weather, not rain - unless it means snow.