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42 M I N E R A L K I N G P U B L I S H I N G , I N C . F S G N E W S . C O M Text by paul myers { } urning out with gloves on hands, and coats draped around your shoulders sounds like winter. Standing along the street with thousands of fellow residents while floats drive by makes it sound much more like Christmas. Towns big and small all across America have a light show during the holidays that bring people out from their homes and onto the streets. Participants dress up their cars, their motor cycles and their floats. For miles they drive about blaring Christmas cheer and throwing candy to the kids nearby. High school bands march along play- ing their instruments while the spectators look on and stand in awe of their talents. Of course it sounds like a parade that many have seen for years. For many communities adults will turn out year after year to see the new floats, and when they have children of their own they'll expose them just the same. In Visalia, this is exactly the protocol. Downtown Visalia is a hub of activity, not just for the holiday season but for every season. At all points in the year you see professionals entering their offices, young students going to lunch, and then the everyday casual shoppers. But when the leaves turn to auburn, and the chill sets in, that is when downtown Visalia turns from a hub of activ- ity into a home of activity. is will be the 70th year of the downtown Candy Cane Lane Parade in Visalia, and in those 70 years there has been excitement in how it has grown. And while much has changed, there is one thing that hasn't, the parade route. For 70 years cars, floats, and bands have run the route from Conyer West to Bridge. According to Elaine Martell, Executive Direc- tor of the Downtown Visalians, there is more and more tradition each and every year. "We never have less than 100 floats, we had 112 this year," said Martell. "e parade is a tra- dition. People come back who have left just to see it. e bands from the high schools participate and that makes it more community oriented." Of course to most cities in Tulare County, A VISALIA time year of very

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