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Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

Art Carlock, vice president of the Bakersfield Christmas Parade committee, announced that Dignity Health Care will be the 2012 Grand Title sponsor of the Christmas Parade and that the parade will be more of a family event with food and drinks and other activities for people attending the parade.

The 30th Annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade will be more of a family affair than in years past, organizers said Tuesday.

There will be food and drink from local vendors as well as "Children Activity Centers" provided by local sponsors that will host events for children of all ages, said parade committee Vice President Art Carlock. He said he wanted to thank all the local sponsors for making this possible.

"We want to make it more of a family event," Carlock said.

The grand sponsor this year is Dignity Health Mercy & Memorial Hospitals.

The parade, expected to draw 20,000 people, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6. This year's theme is "An American Christmas," and there will be floats, light displays, marching bands, horse-drawn carriages and more as the parade makes its way through downtown Bakersfield.