Annual Coachella Christmas Parade spreads holiday cheer through East Valley

2013 Coachella Christmas Parade

COACHELLA, Calif. - "Since I was little I've been watching the parade and it's so fun and all the people dancing and stuff," said Alessandra Lopez, who came to the Coachella Christmas Parade to watch her sister perform for CVHS. 

For more than three decades the parade has been spreading holiday cheer through the East Valley.

"I like all the lights and all the hats and how they're dressing," said 10-year-old Cameron Jackson, who attended the parade with his friends.

The parade featured nearly 100 entries this year, but since the beginning the host group has always been the Coachella Valley High School.

"We perform all over southern California, but this is their home so this is their chance to perform for their friends and family," said Megan Ramirez, the Color Guard Director at CVHS.  

This year's Grand Marshal was Assemblyman Manuel Perez, who was all smiles despite recovering from a 14-hour walk yesterday at the annual pilgrimage for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

"My feet feel better now, when I got home last night around 9:30 I had to put icy hot on my legs and my back. It's an honor, this is my hometown," Perez said.

Congressman Raul Ruiz also calls Coachella home and came straight off a flight from Washington, D.C.  He said the parade reminds him of his childhood.

"It's so great to see the kids and the neighborhoods where I grew up excited to see the lights like I once did as a kid.  I'm really glad to be back," Ruiz said.  

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