CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – The holidays are here and two local towns celebrated in big ways.

Both the towns of Caruthers and Reedley kicked off their holiday seasons with in-person events.

In Caruthers, the Light Parade made its way back into town.

“This is enjoyment. It brings joy,” said Caruthers parade organizer Erick Hamlin when describing the town’s event. “With Winterfest last year, with Covid, we weren’t able to have it [the event].”

Reedley’s Electrical Farm Equipment Parade also made its comeback Friday night after the pandemic.

“This is what Reedley does, we are having a great time out here we had great entertainment we have community,” said President and CEO of Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce Erik Valencia. “It’s just been awesome with our new Christmas tree and this new event of Christmas in the park in downtown Reedley,” 

A moment of silence kicked off Caruthers light parade Friday evening. This was done to honor the victims of the Wakasa Wisconsin parade massacre victims.

“The moment of silence is going to take place in remembrance of the people who were killed at their Christmas parade in Wisconsin,” said Hamlin. “We decided one day the sheriff’s office called me and asked me I said that was something we were planning.”

Guests like Carol Wenstrand and Donna Beserra traveled quite a ways to experience the Caruthers parade this holiday season. Wenstrand visiting from Lake Isabella and Beserra from Turlock.

“I love it, absolutely love it,” said Wenstrand when describing the Caruthers parade. “[I’m] Looking forward to all the entries and stuff, and just having a good time perfect weather for it.” 

Beserra agreed, stating she was visiting the town to support her nephew and the Caruthers community.

 “My nephew is an FFA teacher here, Matt Winstran, and I wanted to support the Caruthers community because I’ve done a few of their fairs there and they’re a great community.” 

Both parades brought back a sense of normalcy that locals were anxiously anticipating following the year-long break due to COVID-19.

The Caruthers Lights Parade started on the corner of Tahoe Avenue and Oak, then made its way down Tahoe Avenue to the town’s Winterfest event.

Reedley’s Electric Farm Equipment Parade started on G Street between 8th and 14th streets and ended at Pioneer Park where residents enjoyed food booths, craft and retail booths and more.