Revelers gazed toward the sky to take in the colorful display as the holiday tree in downtown Pleasanton was illuminated during a festive ceremony on Saturday -- although the rain clouds did put a damper on the evening, leading city officials to cancel the annual parade.
Dozens of residents stuck out the day's consistent rain to attend the tree lighting, complete with live music and an appearance from Santa Claus, which was bumped up almost two hours earlier after the call was made late in the afternoon to forgo the popular procession amid the inclement weather.
"I have loved the parade long before I was mayor. I was so pleased that friends and family from throughout Pleasanton came to the Hometown Holiday Parade with their umbrellas to listen to the music and enjoy the celebration of the lighting of the beautiful tree in front of the Museum on Main," Mayor Karla Brown told the Weekly soon after flipping the switch to light the tree.
As organizers and participants were preparing for the annual holiday parade with fingers crossed in light of the forecast, city officials were keeping an equally close eye on the rainfall Saturday morning and afternoon.
The procession typically brings thousands of spectators to Main Street and scores of entrants from businesses and community groups in decorated floats, cars or on foot.
The parade still looked promising by 3 p.m., albeit scaled back to just one announcers' stage instead of three, but the rain remained steady and the decision was reached just after 3:30 p.m. to cancel the parade for safety reasons but go forward with the tree lighting earlier at 5 p.m.
It marked the third time in the past four years that Pleasanton's holiday parade was called off, following another inclement weather cancellation in 2019 and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in 2020.