Coach, players co-marshal ‘hometown’ parade

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Coach, players co-marshal ‘hometown’ paradeTwo touchstones of fellowship will come together Saturday, Dec. 9, when the Ridgecrest Elks Lodge hosts its annual Children’s Christmas Parade.

Walking, dancing, motorized and equestrian entries will be celebrating “Hometown Christmas — Past, Present and Future” — this year’s theme.

Parade Chair Odessa Newman-Staples said that while parade entrants have been encouraged to depict these nostalgic and future-focused aspects of our community, the current pulse of the community will also be represented in this year’s grand marshals — Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden and Burroughs High School Varsity Football Coach Todd Mather.

Coach Mather has led the Burros to CIF playoffs for only the third time in the school’s 70-year history. (See related story:

Mather will be joined by the football players, who will be jointly honored as hometown heroes.

“This idea for this year’s theme came from a young lady who has lived in Ridgecrest for a little while now,” said Newman-Staples, who has chaired the parade committee the last several years.

“She said, ‘You know, I wish I knew more about what Ridgecrest was like back in the day, and I wish I knew more about what our city is doing moving forward.’ After talking that through, we came up with this theme.”

People look forward to the parade every year, said Newman-Staples. When the perennial favorite lost its leadership team about a decade ago, the Elks stepped up to keep it going.

So each year, hundreds of participants in festive apparel bring holiday cheer to thousands lining the streets of the parade route, which starts at the corner of Las Flores Avenue and Sanders Street and heads west to Norma Street, then south to Ridgecrest Boulevard before heading back to its starting point.

A D.J. from one of the Elks’ sister lodges in Mojave will join the local group to announce parade entries from the corner of Balsam Street and Ridgecrest Boulevard.

“I can’t wait to see what our entrants do with the theme,” said Newman-Staples.

“I know my favorite part of the Christmas parade is always when Santa Claus comes at the very end. I look forward to that moment every year!”

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. Staging begins behind Home Depot at 8 a.m.

For more information call the Elks Lodge at 760-375-8331 or Newman-Staples at 760-301-4330.

Story First Published: 2017-12-01