The Christmas Parade of Lights will wind through the streets of downtown Lodi tonight, with nearly 100 colorful lighted floats on display.
Approximately 40,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the festivities.
The theme of this year's parade is "Christmas Magic," and it starts at exactly 6:17 p.m. In past years, spectators have begun arriving as early as 2 p.m., with lawn chairs, blankets and Thermos bottles full of hot cocoa.
Parade highlights this year will include the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses and the grand entrance of Santa Claus, riding atop a Lodi fire truck.
Streets on the parade's staging area and along the parade route, including portions of Pine, Church, School and Locust streets will be closed from 4 to 9 p.m. Street parking along the parade route will not be allowed until after the parade has ended. Residents will be allowed to enter and exit the staging area.
Cars not removed from the parade route by 4 p.m. will be towed, according to the Lodi Police Department. Parking will be scarce, so parade viewers are encouraged to car-pool, get to town early and park in the public city lots on Church Street and Sacramento Street.
A heated, 40-passenger bus will be parked in the Longs Drugs parking lot on Lodi Avenue for relief from the chilly night air. Portable restrooms will be placed along the parade route.
Several downtown businesses will be staying open late tonight, and food vendors will also offer their wares. The evening's ceremonies start at 5:30 p.m. with the annual lighting of the Hospice Tree on the steps of the Lodi City Hall, 221 W. Pine St.