Discovery Bay turned out for the 17th annual Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 7, despite an afternoon of steady rain.
Earlier in the week, Parade Director Amanda Dove assured viewers and participants through Facebook that she had an arrangement with “the big guy in the sky,” and that there’d be no rain during the parade. Her arrangement paid off: as floats lined up in the Discovery Bay Yacht Harbor parking lot, the rain stopped ten minutes before the parade’s start time, and held for the rest of the evening.
“We were delighted when the downpour stopped just as the parade began to roll,” Dove said. “Despite the wet conditions, thousands of people still lined the streets. The lighted floats sparkled even more against the wet pavement and were truly beautiful.”
Rick Pierce has been helping run the parade since it began. As parade captain, he helps organize floats at the staging area before sending them down the route. He said the parade is an important and highly attended community event, rain or shine.
“It’s probably the single most-attended event in Discovery Bay,” he said. “Between the participants in the parade — which can reach sometimes up to 1,000 participants ... and thousands more on the streets — I can’t think of another event that brings this many people in the community together all at once. It’s the biggest small-town parade you’ll ever see.”
All entries rolled past the judging station set up at the end of the route, in front of the Discovery Bay Community Center. Here sat the judges, with the difficult job of scoring each entry — including this year’s crowd favorites, like the Liberty High School marching band and drumline. The following list of winners was posted the next morning on the event’s Facebook Page:
1. Best of Show: Heritage High Varsity Drumline
2. Director’s Choice Award: Delta RV & Boat Storage
3. Best Community Group: Patriot Jet Team Foundation
4. Best Lights: Discovery Bay River Otters
5. Most Creative: Mariner’s Church
6. Best of Theme: All God’s Children School
7. Best Participation: Zumba With Karina
8. Audience Appreciation Award: Daisy Troop with Santa’s Sleigh
9. Best Band: Liberty High School Marching Band
10. Best Dance or Cheer: East County Performing Arts
11. Best Kids’ Group/Float: Boys & Girls Scout Troop 514
12. Best Commercial Float: Guild/Intero/Nova
13. Best Vehicle Group: Knuckles Up ATV Group
14. Best Drumline: Liberty High School
15. Best Individual Vehicle: Rick Megoloff Jeep
For more information, see the event Facebook page at facebook.com/DBParadeoflights