CENTRAL VALLEY (Calif.) – Two local communities are celebrating the holidays in huge ways.

Reedley and Caruthers began their holiday season with live events.

The Light Parade returned to Caruthers.

This is joy. “It brings joy,” Erick Hamlin, Caruthers parade organizer, said when describing the event. “With Winterfest last winter, with Covid we weren’t [able to have] it [the event].

After the pandemic, Reedley’s Electrical Farm Equipment Parade made its return Friday night.

“This is Reedley, we’re having a great day out here we had great entertainment and we have community,” stated Erik Valencia, President and CEO of Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce. It’s been amazing with the new Christmas tree and the new Christmas in the Park event in downtown Reedley.

Friday night’s Caruthers light parade was marked by a moment of silence. This was to remember the Wakasa Wisconsin massacre victims.

Hamlin stated that a moment of silence will be observed in remembrance for the victims of Wisconsin’s Christmas parade. “We decided that one day, the sheriff’s department called me and asked me if I had mentioned that it was something we were planning.”

Carol Wenstrand and Donna Beserra were among the many guests who traveled quite a distance to witness this year’s Caruthers Parade. Wenstrand visited Turlock from Lake Isabella.

Wenstrand described the Caruthers parade as “I love, absolutely love” “I look forward to all the entries, stuff, and having a great time. It’s perfect weather.”

Beserra said yes, explaining that she was there to support her nephew and Caruthers community.

“My nephew, Matt Winstran is an FFA teacher in this area. I wanted to support Caruthers because I’ve been to a few of their fairs and they’re great.”

Both parades restored a sense of normalcy to the area that was missing for a year due to COVID-19.

The Caruthers Lights Parade began at the corner of Tahoe Avenue & Oak and made its way down Tahoe Avenue until it reached the town’s Winterfest event.

Reedley’s Electric Farm Equipment Parade began on G Street between 8 th street and 14 th streets. It ended at Pioneer Park, where residents enjoyed food and craft booths.