The city of Murrieta’s annual Holiday Magic Push-cart Parade had hundreds of local residents braving the cold to gather in the festivities.
For many, especially the children, the fun kept the brisk air at bay. For others, it was the hot chocolate, coffee and free “Pancake Breakfast Under the Stars," cooked by the Murrieta Firefighters Association.
“It’s cold out, but we have our hot cocoa,” said Murrieta resident Ofe Brown. She, along with her family, braved the cold to watch the parade and meet Santa Claus. Brown’s 5-year-old daughter, Isabella, was equally impressed with meeting Mrs. Claus.
“I’ve never met Mrs. Claus before,” said Isabella. “She never comes with Santa!”
This year boasted a few new additions that kept the holiday spirit alive.
In keeping with its non-motorized theme, electric vehicles no larger than a golf cart were allowed to participate. A Mascot Challenge was introduced as well. Mascots were judged based on their entertainment, support and festiveness.
There were at least 50 parade entries this year, city organizers said.
The winning cart was that of The Shootist gun shop, which consisted of a 20-foot wagon, bales of hay and children shouting the joys of the season.
“We chose The Shootist as the winner because it was so big and unusual,” said Laura Frasso, special events coordinator for the city of Murrieta. “It was just a lot of fun.”
Also new this year, the city hosted "Snow in the Square" at Town Square
Park, following the parade. Fifteen tons of snow had children of all ages
throwing snowballs and sliding down the hills.
Afterward, families warmed up with pancakes and warm drinks provided by Murrieta firefighters in exchange for voluntary donations.
Off-duty firefighters cooked and handed out hundreds of pancakes to those in attendance.
“It’s fun getting out and connecting with our community,” said Murrieta fire EMS Coordinator Art Durbin. “We usually only get to see (residents) during times of need; this is a nice change.”
Their hard work did not go unnoticed. Brown appreciated the gesture while daughter Isabella was mesmerized by the pancake-making station.
“She (Isabella) loves pancakes and it was so fun for her to get to see them being made by the firefighters,” Brown said.
Take a look through the gallery of photos from the festivities, and upload your own.