Should Galt's traditional Lighting of the Night Christmas parade continue its years-long tradition of covering most every block in Galt, or should the route be changed to a more concentrated location centered on the city's main business area?
City and Chamber of Commerce officials are exploring the idea of moving the parade to the C Street-Lincoln Way area and the redeveloped Oldtown area, much to the consternation of some residents and the Galt woman who has organized the parade for the past dozen years.
"It's a shame they're messing with what we're doing," said current parade organizer Patrice Moreno. "We do go in and out of the neighborhoods, and it brings cheer to other people."
Mayor Barbara Payne, who is active with a group called the Shop Local Committee, says that shortening the parade, held the second Saturday of December each year, would bring people from all neighborhoods together instead of the current practice of residents sitting in their garage waiting for the parade to come to them.
Moreno says that several residents east of Highway 99 are upset about proposing a new parade route. Meanwhile, Payne said she's heard concerns that children on parade floats can't use the restroom in a timely manner because the parade is too long.
Going all over town might have been good when Galt was a small agricultural community, but it's grown to 24,000 residents, Payne said.
Payne said the Shop Local Committee has discussed having related events, such as asking school bands to perform. The route change proposal is not designed to draw revenue for Galt businesses, she added.
In addition, Galt police officers said they have had trouble with traffic control on East Stockton Boulevard — the eastern frontage road of Highway 99 — according to Payne. The frontage road is included in the parade to reach adjoining neighborhoods, she said.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.