Entertainment & Events

Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon kicks off Thanksgiving week

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Floats, bands, horses, clowns, artists, balloons, Santa Claus and more were on display Sunday in El Cajon’s 64th annual Mother Goose Parade.

It’s the biggest parade in San Diego County, and is the “largest of its type west of the Mississippi,” according to the parade’s official website.

Each year, the entertainment cocktail spills down the streets of El Cajon on the Sunday before Thanksgiving under the banner of a new theme geared towards children. This year, the theme was “Storybook Friends.”

The parade first marched in 1947 after Thomas Wigton Jr. and a cast of businessmen organized the event as a “gift from the business community to the ‘Children of East County,’” according to about.com. It has been an autumn-time tradition ever since.

The three-mile parade has been known to attract upwards of 400,000 spectators, but Mother Goose isn’t what she used to be, having downgraded its extravagance due to budgetary reasons.

Despite the poor weather, the parade still had plenty of onlookers hugging the streets to enjoy ample entertainment. The partial sunshine in the morning gave way to heavy showers by the start of the event. Several participants reportedly dropped out because of the weather.

Those who toughed out the cold and rain hid under the eaves of businesses, wrapped themselves in plastic ponchos, huddled under umbrellas, and in one case — built a tent to escape the elements.

This year’s parade honored hometown heroes including teachers, police officers and players from the 1957 Little League championship in Williamsport, Pa. The late Christopher Wilson, the former San Diego police officer who was killed last month in a shootout was also honored.

Photo by Jon Sullivan.

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