People of all ages gathered downtown for the annual Community Christmas Parade and downtown activities to open the 2018 Christmas holiday season Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

Now in its fourth year, the celebration featured cookie decorating, a petting zoo, live nativity, parade and Christmas program.
Event organizer Debra Hobbs said this year’s event truly inspired the Christmas spirit.

Hobbs said what began out of her passion for the true meaning of the season and a way to unite the community has grown beyond what she ever imagined.

“Every year is my favorite,” Hobbs said. “But my absolute favorite is the spirit we created this year. It is heartwarming to see the families together. The smiles. The laughter. The community needed this. That is exactly what it is all about.”

Starting at four o’clock, downtown businesses began decorating as the court house lawn lit up with a colorful light display.
One at a time and even some at a time, children of all ages took their turn sitting with Santa and Mrs. Claus to tell them what is on their Christmas wish list this year.

Others meandered up and down Main Street enjoying a variety of holiday theme activities such as cookie decorating, ornament making and holiday theme games as well as sipping on hot chocolate and tasting cupcakes and Frito pie, all while listening to holiday music.

A miniature petting zoo was also available for those who wanted to interact with animals sized right for all ages.

The event, a joint effort between, the Sonora chamber of Commerce, Ministerial Alliance and Hobbs was free and open to the public due to the generous donations by local businesses, organizations and individuals.

As night fell, the familiar and favorite tune of the little drummer boy performed by Jesus Chavez and Liliana Gallegos summoned the crowd’s attention as they led a parade to the courthouse lawn.

Members of the live nativity rode through downtown waving at the crowd as they made their way to the court house lawn.

Others rode on colorful floats and vehicles decorated for the season. Parade watchers dashed for candy sprinkled up and down the street as it was tossed from the floats.

Following the parade, folks turned their attention to a seasonal program of prayer, scripture and song by local clergy and talented members of the community.

Father Bill Harris opened the program with a prayer. Pastor Daniel Theibould told the story of Christ’s birth followed by singing of seasonal tunes including “Mary Did You Know” and “What Child is This” performed by Bonnie Lou Campbell, Judy Theibould and Bailey Boudston and “O Holy Night” sang by Lizzy Taylor.

A live nativity also drew the attention of listeners. A true-life scene including a cast of local residents and a wide variety of live animals that unmistakably addresses the reasons for Jesus’s time on earth.

Depicting the scene on the night Jesus was born, Britton and Kaelin Scott gazed upon their own baby, Hunter as Mary and Joseph did upon Jesus while Shepherds and Wisemen looked on.

Angels Haizel Scott and Keeley Moore looked over all of them.

Looking ahead to next year, Hobbs said she always welcomes suggestions and ideas from others to keep the tradition going for years to come.

Looking around she said it is obvious that this year’s Community Christmas event was a success and helped open the holiday season.

“When I walked down the street and could see how it has grown that made me proud,” Hobbs said. “We’ve created the Christmas spirit. I want to keep that spirit and I want it to grow every year. I Couldn’t do this event without the help of the Ministerial Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, organizations and individuals. It just is not possible without everyone’s support and participation.”