■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter
Trophies were awarded to the 10 best floats in December’s annual City of Hemet Christmas Parade at the Jan. 10 meeting of the Hemet City Council. More than 100 entries marched and competed for their spot among these categories: Decorated Walking, Antique Auto, Float, Motorized, School Marching, Middle School Band, High School Band, Animal, Best Use of Theme, and Non-motorized. The prize-winners were decided by judges Judy Hoffman-Wade, Timothy Kubo and Nikki Hutton.
Parade Coordinator Stephany Borders worked extra hard to make this year’s parade come together, which consisted of 4,000 people, 65 horses, and more than enough floats and vehicles to count. The process takes nearly a year to plan and coordinate, and Borders will start recruiting for next December’s parade this month. The theme of the 2016 parade was “The Gift of Volunteering.”
“We had 11 bands in our Christmas parade this year, the Rose Parade had 15,” said Borders. “I think we’re doing a great job.”
The Best Decorated Walking prize went to VF Post 12020 and Riverside National Cemetery Memorial Honor Detail Team 45; Best Antique Auto prize was won by the Cruising A’s; The Wheelhouse Skate Center won Best Float; Hemet Valley Baptist Church won Best Motorized; San Jacinto Leadership Academy won Best School Marching; Rancho Viejo Middle School won Best Middle School Band; Hemet High Marching Band won Best High School Band; El Patron Restaurant won Best Animal Float for its impressive display of dancing horses; Hemet High School Theatre won Best Use of Theme Float; and Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio won Best Non-Motorized Float.
El Patron and Wheelhouse were not present to accept their trophies, but arrangements are being made to get them to their respective destinations.