Fresno Christmas Parade restored

November 7, 2011 

The Fresno Christmas parade is back on.

The PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno has agreed to take over the annual parade that will celebrate its 82nd year on Dec. 10.

Last month, city officials pulled the plug on the parade, citing budget constraints. The parade costs $15,000 to $20,000.

A downtown fixture for decades, the annual parade draws hundreds every year. And downtown supporters did not want to let it die.

Kate Borders, president and CEO of PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno, said it made sense for the organization to sponsor the parade. The private, nonprofit's nearly $1 million budget is dedicated to revitalizing downtown Fresno.

"And this is part of that revitalization effort," Borders said.

As the event's new sponsor, Borders said, PBID is trying to change the parade route to go down Fulton Mall and Kern Street where many downtown merchants have their shops.

"We want to do what events are supposed to do," Borders said. "And that is bring people to businesses doorsteps."

PBID is looking for volunteers and sponsors for the parade.

Participants in last year's parade were happy to hear it was saved. The Memorial United Methodist Church in Clovis won second place last year for its float that depicted a nativity scene.

"It would really have been a shame to not have the parade again," said Diane Zastovnik, finance officer for the church. "I am glad to hear it is back on."

The parade will start at 11 a.m. and be followed later in the day by a tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in front of City Hall.

Said Borders: "We hope to help create an overall holiday feeling downtown."

The reporter can be reached at brodriguez@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6327.

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