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Parade of Lights — 89 floats strong — winds its way through Downtown Lodi with sports theme

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Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 2:22 pm, Tue Dec 6, 2011.

Muscle cars were rumbling and setting off car alarms, children were tussling with glowing light sabers in the street and Christmas music was blaring throughout Downtown Lodi on Thursday evening for the Parade of Lights. Thousands of spectators watched 89 floats participate in the 15th annual event.

The sports-themed parade, titled "Sportin' the Holidays," featured golf carts decorated with Christmas lights, high school cheerleaders and a float spoofing the San Francisco Giants. The event also featured floats that didn't embrace a sport, but clearly people had put a lot of effort into them, said Lodi Mayor and contest judge Bob Johnson.

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  • Caitlan Cunningham posted at 3:00 pm on Tue, Dec 7, 2010.

    Caitlan Cunningham Posts: 1

    Okay just saying all of you who are making degrading comments about taokay and the band and how if St. Mary's can send their band why can't Tokay? well first of all St. Mary's is a private school so they have the money, and not that any of you would know, but tokay's first semester has been total turmoil. Our sports are priority and Band is not, unfortunately. The band did not go to the public, maybe for a couple reasons. One might be, everyone else is in the same economic crash so no one may want to support Tokay, because of money issues. Two, its the holiday season they probably did not want to bug families. And three, because Lodi is always more supportive. So not that any of you would know this, but maybe you should keep your comments about how you feel about Tokay to yourself, because you do not truly know what is going on inside.

    -A Junior at Tokay High School

  • Betty Dean posted at 11:47 pm on Mon, Dec 6, 2010.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    The Parade was BEAUTIFUL!! I LOVED the classic cars! They were awesome!

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:38 pm on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    In addition... I wonder if this band director would have behaved in such a selfish way with a “shove it” up your *** if you do not like it attitude if he was not protected by tenure and the union. This is just but one example of why the union and tenure is inappropriate.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:35 pm on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Betty Dean... in an earlier blog, the band director stated... case closed... in describing the issue... I stated... its only just begun... Its only through concerned people like yourself that voice opinions to people in important positions that will help in keeping the case open... I hope you do drop a line to the superintendant... that would be very appropriate.,.

  • Betty Dean posted at 4:11 pm on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    I think it is really sad that Tokay wasent in the parade! There were no winners in this decision.
    The band didn't win, the Director, Jamie nor the Public!
    Bad decision and shows poor Judgement on the Teachers side!
    Bad, Bad, Bad~ I think I might even Drop the Superintendant a line to let her know how UN Professional her Honor Band Director is!

  • Josh Morgan posted at 6:14 am on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Jamie, I wouldn't waste my time with Doug. He has been blogging on the LNS site for several years under various names. He's a believer in the great conspiracy theory and everyone has a self serving interest with the exception of himself. He's asked for Grand Jury investigations, warned us of pending arrests and indictments . All of this has been through his contacts with "insiders" that he slips a $20 bill to occasionally. I mean, he's a real Sherlock Holmes. This is a guy with his own skeletons that I refuse to discuss. I really feel sorry for him. It's a heavy burden to carry all of that hate and suspicion. I've encouraged him to speak with those he has been so critical but it's just easier to make things up. Good luck to you and your organization. Lodi has been so fortunate to have good people like yourself involved in the community.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:27 am on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Doug Chaney posted at 7:29 pm...The band director from Tokay high, in my opinion, was making a very importand stand against the establishment and poor judgement ...

    Important stand?? Thats rich... I guess you could also state that the Grinch was making an important stand as well... Bah... Humbug... Down with anyone who acts like a do gooder... grrrrrr... Yes... this band director is a model for all who give of their time for the good of others...

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:19 am on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Love your style. Very constructive!!! I’m sure the enthusiasm and approval by the community for this event is very much influenced by your leadership. Good job!!

  • Jaime Watts posted at 12:31 am on Sun, Dec 5, 2010.

    Jaime Watts Posts: 3

    Doug Chaney...who are you? Have we met? I got online to check out the wonderful news coverage of the Parade of Lights, the most rewarding event that I am fortunate to organize for the Lodi community. I have to laugh at people that don't even know me (and that I've never even heard of) can form opinions and comment on things they obviously don't know about. If they did...they wouldn't butcher the facts. Must be through gossip, news articles and ignorance. I challenge you to come to my office and introduce yourself at 4 West Pine St. Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Looking forward to it!

    And Joshua Smith - I invite you to come to the next markeing and events meeting and be part of the solution and brainstorm ways to make a profit from the event that does not include charging entry fees (like every other parade in the U.S. does.) The Parade of Lights is one of the biggest fundraisers for our non-profit organization - costs and requirements have increased to put on the parade, I would be more than happy to hear your ideas on how to cover our additional costs.

    I hope everyone enjoyed the parade. Under my leadership, I am already looking forward to next year, I am very confident and proud of the continued growth of the DLBP. If anyone has questions or concerns, you are always welcome to visit my office to talk face to face...this hiding behind posts does not really work for me - and usualy I don't even respond to negativity, but I was amused.

    Merry Christmas! :)

  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:29 pm on Sat, Dec 4, 2010.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    The band director from Tokay high, in my opinion, was making a very importand stand against the establishment and poor judgement by the leadership of Lodi and the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership. Since when is a non-profit organization like the DLBP raise its entry fees merely to show a larger profit? Just who aproved this huge fee hike? I thought the DLBP would show a marked improvement after the removal of Mr. Easterling and the funds that were never accounted for. Under Ms. Watts lack of leadership, things aren't any better 4 years or so later. I missed the parade due to illness and think it's the highlight of the year for many Lodians, including myself. It's too bad the DLBP lost one of its best parade entrants, the Tokay high marching band, but this would lead me to think that it's time for Ms. Watts to perhaps give up the lead role and the city of Lodi to consider appointing a new director that Ms. Watts would enjoy working for.

  • Anthony Smith posted at 8:06 pm on Fri, Dec 3, 2010.

    Anthony Smith Posts: 1

    As a member of the St. Mary's High School drumline, I'd like to thank you all for the kind comments as this was our first year in the Parade of Lights. Even though we are a school in Stockton, the drumline is new to our band department and we figured we could add to the holiday spirit of the parade this year. While the price to enter was a little steep for a small drumline like ours (SM's band department budget is A LOT smaller than you may think), our band boosters felt this was something we needed to do be in. To be honest, I dont even recall anyone at our meetings having a problem with the fee. With a lot of fundraising we were able to be in this parade which I think was a good choice. It was awesome seeing all the kids clapping along with the drums and we hope to possibly see you next year. Thanks again and Happy Holidays

  • Joshua Smith posted at 3:44 pm on Fri, Dec 3, 2010.

    Joshua Smith Posts: 1

    The Parade of Lights was a smash. I have family and friends come from all over the states to come enjoy the beauty of Lodi. The floats were awesome, although it is un-nerving to see that whomever is "in charge" of the events charging such a hi-fee for floats to enter the event.

    You would think that a good director would find a way to profit from the thousands upon thousands of of visitors and not rely so much on the cash given by an organization to be allowed to "be in" in allowance to participate....
    -- Making a float is costly enough, and then, also having to pay $ to be apart of the action? (ouch) .

    Still, this was an Excellent, Whimsical Event and the Guy with the iPad
    saying "Merry Christmas from Lowe's" -- That Was Totally BOSS

  • Bob Bechill posted at 3:43 pm on Fri, Dec 3, 2010.

    Bob Bechill Posts: 41

    I, and I understand, many others offered to pay the entry fee for the Tokay Band. While I fully admit I don't have the complete story, for the Tokay Band Director to draw such a line in the sand over this was extremely disappointing. For many kids and especially his seniors, this was their last chance to participate in a major local parade event. I'm not sure if I will go as far Jackson and give the Band Director a Bah Humbug, but his actions surely dampened the holiday spirit.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:25 pm on Fri, Dec 3, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Once the band director initiated the possibility of a no show, over money,I think it was more appropriate that tokay band not show as participation should be for the right reason and in the right spirit. It was better for all that they not show. St Marys obviously understands the spirit of Christmas and the goodness behind it.
    For the non-politcally correct readers... Merry Christmas!!!... for all others, Happy Holidays

  • Jackson Scott posted at 7:30 am on Fri, Dec 3, 2010.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 392

    Once again the Parade of Lights was a holiday hit with our family & friends! With our spot staked out early Thursday morning we were ready for another fun & festive time! While I had read earlier that the Tokay HS Band was thinking of not participating due to an increase of the entry fee ($60 to $100 I recall), I fully expected to see the Tigers Marching Band since I thought someone will chip-in the extra $50+/- so the students can perform.

    Bah Humbug! Tokay was a no show. And to make matters worse for this life long Lodian, a Stockton based high school sent their band: nice job St Mary's! Thank you Rams for your attendance!

    So the next time a Tokay parent complains about "the city" not supporting THS like they do the Lodi Flames programs I will kindly remind them how THS did not take the opportunity to reach out to the community with an event like the Parade of Lights.

    Happy Holidays! ;-)



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