By Douglas W. Motley
As many as a thousand parade-goers are expected to line Blue Jay’s main thoroughfare on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 7, to enjoy the 40th annual Blue Jay Christmas parade on what organizers have billed as “the world’s shortest parade route.”
To the delight of a jubilant crowd, over 40 floats, festively adorned vehicles, bands and marching units representing local schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations are expected to parade along the two-tenths-of-a-mile route, from one end of town to the other.
The theme for this year’s parade is “50s Rockin’ Christmas,” so crowds should expect to hear some 50s era rock ‘n roll Christmas classics, courtesy of Lake Arrowhead DJs Chad and Frankie.
For best viewing options, event sponsors Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, Blue Jay Village and Lake Arrowhead DJs suggest arriving in Blue Jay prior to 1 p.m. and parking in the Jensen’s parking lot. Additional parking will be available along North Bay Road.
The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. with the ever-popular Mountain Fifes & Drums Corps marching down the boulevard, followed by Christmas characters, World War II Army jeeps, Blue Star Moms, Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops, veterans’ organizations and floats representing various other groups and organizations.
Also expected in addition to the Fifes & Drums are the MPH Intermediate School and Rim High marching bands, colorful dancers from Lake Arrowhead School of Dance, marching units from the Arrowhead Arts Association and the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation, the Historical Society’s restored, 1951 Crestline bus and floats from local Rotary Clubs and the Boys & Girls Club.
As children scrambled for candy tossed into the crowd lining last year’s parade route, the notorious Grinch strode into town, slinking between parade entries and generally causing headaches, as he is known to do. Will the mean old Grinch cause more headaches again this year? Well, that remains to be seen.
First responders will again be well represented by red fire engines from County Fire and Cal Fire (with sirens blaring), followed by a green U.S. Forest Service fire engine and Model T Ford bearing the likes of Smokey Bear. The Sheriff’s Department will again be represented by a procession of emergency vehicles and its Search and Rescue team.
Bringing up the rear of the parade will be the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus, who is expected to arrive in style on his colorful, motorized sleigh, waving to the adoring crowd as he wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.
According to organizers – who suggest dressing warmly for this event – the parade is expected to wrap up around 3 p.m.