Yes Virginia, there will be a Christmas Light Parade this year in Nogales.
City officials cancelled the popular community event last year due to the pandemic. However, Mayor Arturo Garino said, “We want all families to get back together over the holidays. It’s important for communities and families. Last year many families were separated because of (COVID-19) restrictions.”
Scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4, the parade is an ideal family event, he said. In fact, the theme of the parade is, “Together this Christmas.”
Garino acknowledged, however, that the holidays will be bittersweet for many who lost family members to the pandemic.
Dr. Eladio Pereira, chief medical officer for Mariposa Community Health Center, was selected to be parade grand marshal in a nod to his leadership and efforts during the pandemic, the mayor said. Pereira, along with an army of people from the clinic, county health department, school districts, volunteers and others, helped control the spread of the virus through a successful vaccination campaign in Santa Cruz County.
Those who want to participate in the parade, which starts at 6 p.m., must register by filling out an entry form available at City Hall or online at nogalesaz.gov. They are due back no later than noon on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Participants are encouraged to incorporate “Together this Christmas” in their entries.
“We invite you to be as creative as you would like and get in the competition,” said Mayra Valencia, who is coordinating the event.
All entries will be judged the day of the parade and will be evaluated based on originality, creativity, and lighting. First, second and third-place prizes will be awarded, and winners will be announced prior to a city council meeting at which they will receive formal recognition.
For more information, call Valencia or the mayor’s office at (520) 287-6571.