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It's Time Kick Off San Diego's Holiday Season With - the Mother Goose Parade

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Mother Goose Parade

What Is The Mother Goose Parade?:

The Mother Goose Parade was originated in 1947 by Thomas Wigton, Jr., and a group of El Cajon businessmen. This parade was their gift from the business community to the "Children of East County."

So, Is It A Big Deal?:

Well, duh. The Mother Goose Parade attracts upwards of 400,000 spectators and chooses a different theme each year. This year's theme is Storybook Friends. Floats may choose a nursery rhyme theme or a display related to the annual theme. The parade has everything you'd want in a parade: marching units, bands, floats, clowns, the Queen and Court and equestrians. The event is broadcast on radio and television.

Why Is It In El Cajon?:

Prominent El Cajon businessman Thomas Wigton was driving home from Los Angeles one rainy evening and had a brainstorm! The El Cajon business community had to give the children a Christmas present and he hit on the idea of a parade. Everybody loves a parade and El Cajon didn't have one yet but Tom knew the kids in El Cajon would love it.

When Does The Parade Take Place?:

The Mother Goose Parade always takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day. Mother Goose Parade delights children of all ages every Sunday before Thanksgiving and signals the beginning of the Christmas season as Santa comes to town at the end of the parade on his own special float.

Mother Goose Moment in History:

In 1963, history stepped in. More than 300,000 spectators and 94 units were in place when word was received President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The parade was postponed to December 1 due to the tragedy.

Even Disney Likes Mother Goose:

The parade attracted over 400,000 in 1973 when Mickey and Minnie Mouse were co-grand marshals and brought many Disneyland friends along to delight the spectators.

What Is The Parade Route?:

Starting at the corner of Main St. and Magnolia...and proceeding east on Main St., then turning onto Second St. and continuing north to Madison, where it officially ends.

Parade Tips:

Bring some sandwiches, snacks, and plenty of ice cold water for hot days (or a thermos of piping hot cocoa for cold days). Bring a folding chair for comfort. If you have kids, bring a blanket so that they can sit on the curb for a great view.

2011 Mother Goose Details:

When: Sunday, November 20, 2011; 10 a.m. - El Cajon, California.

Unlike parades of the recent past, the 2011 edition of the Mother's Goose Parade continues to downscale and move away from the star-powered parades of several years ago. Parade officials said they couldn’t afford to bring the stars back, so the parade has gone back to its roots with clowns, floats, marching bands, and equestrian units.

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