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DELANO RAMBLINGS: Chamber planning return of Delano Christmas Parade next month

Plans for resumption of Delano’s Christmas Parade are “on go” for 2021 after COVID prevented such a parade in 2020.

Directors of Delano’s Chamber of Commerce met Nov. 4 and made the decision after gaining the OK from the city of Delano.

The city and Chamber agree that Tuesday, Dec. 9, is the best date for the event and also for the arrival of Santa Claus, who will be the final entry in the parade.

“Miracle on Main Street” will be the theme for the parade. If an entry fee applies, the last day to pay the entry fee will be Dec. 3, which is also the final day to turn in the entry form at the Chamber of Commerce office where forms are available.

There will be no charge for schools, military or religious groups and non-profits. A $50 fee will apply to Chamber members and all others will be charged $75. Checks may be made out to the Delano Chamber of Commerce or pay with cash or credit card.

The six categories for entries are bands; dance, drill team or cheerleaders; commercial floats; youth, non-profit or church; decorated vehicles; and other. Plaques will be awarded to the winners in each division.

Sylvia Soto, parade chair, reports that registration an hour in advance of the parade’s 6 p.m. start time will be near San Joaquin Paint at the 7th Avenue and Main Street intersection.

There will be marked-off areas by numbers for entries to assemble. The parade will advance north on Main Street and then turn onto Jefferson Street for return to the starting area.

A vendors’ fair is planned in front of Delano’s City Hall.

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A recent meeting of planners for the Delano Community Thanksgiving luncheon was another opportunity for me to be around many of this community’s “movers and shakers” and to learn about many of the community events and to ask questions.

The recent City Council agenda listing a tax drew my attention, but former City Councilman Art Armendariz cleared it up for me. He related that the new subdivision to the west of Legacy Estates would require a tax for upkeep of certain general landscaping, etc., around that area. There are already other residential areas in Delano that pay a similar tax. My mistake was thinking the tax would apply to all property owners of the community.

Then it was brought up that the homeless of the Delano area would be boosted by $1 million from the city.

Two of those present explained to me that under the American Recovery Act that the city would gain about $14 million with the city allotting a certain percentage — the million — toward homeless services. There are also specific federal government guidelines that must be followed in use of the federal funds.

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On a recent stop at the post office, I parked and looked out my window on the passenger side and there parked was Brad Barker, who I had wanted to see for months to learn about any activities of Delano’s Cinco de Mayo, for whom he has been an officer for many years.

Brad, who ran Delano Sporting Goods on Main Street for many years, is retired now. He said he was unsure if Cinco would have a candy bag giveaway to youngsters prior to Christmas or not after taking a hiatus last December.

He promised to give me a call if Cinco decides to resume the practice.

We spoke for a long time about past activities of Cinco including the long-gone queen show and the cost of resuming a parade and carnival.

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Jerva Winn, a 1954 Delano High graduate and classmate of mine, has remained a tipster with ideas for this column.

He notified me that Glenna (Franks) Epperson of Porterville had died recently. She was a longtime resident of Delano but had lived recently in Porterville and was the mother of Ron Epperson who was a football standout for Delano High and inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Most recently Mrs. Epperson had resided in Brookings, Ore., and lived with Ron until entering a nursing home there. She was retired from employment at Porterville State Hospital. She was a 1953 Delano High graduate.

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Another recent death that I must report is that of Earl Marshall, who lived just a block from me on Washington Street in Delano.

I recall when he and his widow, the former Joan Rodarte, used to own and run Surf’s Up, a clothing store that catered stylish clothes for youth and was located about midway between Tony’s Pizza and Vallarta Market in the shopping center at the Randolph Street and Cecil Avenue intersection.

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Kiwanis Club of Delano will be hosting a “Christmas Giving Tree” project at Heritage Park along with the lighting of the park buildings in conjunction with the Historical Society.

Trees will be sponsored by individuals, organizations or businesses of the community for $100 and decorated at Heritage Park.

Following the display at the park, the trees will be donated to needy families along with gift cards for shopping.

Donations for trees may be made to Kiwanis Club of Delano, P.O. Box 368, Delano, CA 93216. For more information, contact Kiwanian Steve Kinsey at 725-1286 or Claribel Gutierrez at 778-3265.

By the way, Kiwanis Club of Delano meets Fridays at noon at Heritage Park except for the Friday following the first Wednesday of the month.

The club meets the first Wednesday of the month at Tony’s Firehouse on County Line Road at 6 p.m. for social and project nights with the sponsored Key Clubs from Wonderful College Prep Academy, Delano High and Robert F. Kennedy High. For more information, contact Kinsey.

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Robert F. Kennedy High School’s band has been performing at a high level, I was informed by Delano high school district trustee Arnold Morrison who knows all that is taking place musically in the community and probably everything else as well.

The band’s halftime show, “Bloom,” is currently No. 6 in the state in the AAA division, he said, and received first place band, auxiliary and percussion at the Selma Band Festival Oct. 30. RFK also earned the Grand Marshal’s Trophy over all other bands regardless of division at the event.

The RFK musicians were to travel to Orange Cove for another event and if they qualify were to take part in today’s (Nov. 13) semifinals in Mission Viejo. The finals are Nov. 20 at the same location.

The  director of the band is Marlex Booc.

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