The San Bernardino Police and Fire Departments are moving forward with the annual Ho-Ho Parade in spite of the city's bankruptcy.
"We've put this parade in motion every year for decades," said police Sgt. Vicki Cervantes. "Everyone involved is volunteering their own time to make this annual event happen."
Every year members of the police and fire department escort Santa and his elves throughout the city with their lights beaming and the sirens wailing making stops to meet and greet San Bernardino residents.
"It's one of many ways we give back to the community that embraces us," Cervantes said.
These stops, mapped below, are not all-inclusive and there will be additional stops based on time availability. Each night, the parade starts at 5 p.m. and will go no later than 10 p.m.
On Tuesday (mapped in red), the parade will travel through the northeast district of the city. Short stops will be made so that Santa can visit with residents at the Perris Hill Senior Center, 21st Street east of Valencia; at the Target store at 2380 N. Sterling; and at Serrano Middle School at 3131 E. Piedmont.
On Wednesday (mapped in green), the parade will begin at the San Bernardino Police Department, 710 N. "D" Street, San Bernardino. It will travel through the western and southern districts of the city and will make short stops at Ramona Elementary School, 670 N. Ramona; Lytle Creek Recreation Center, 400 S. "K" Street; Colony Park, Harwick/ Weir Road; Norton Elementary School, 747 N. Mt. View Ave; Davidson Elementary School, 2844 N. Davidson; and Ingram Elementary School, 1695 W. 19th St.
On Thursday (mapped with snowflakes), festivities will begin at San Bernardino Fire Station No. 232, 6055 Palm Ave. The parade will travel through the northwest district making short stops near the intersection of Shorter/Varsity; at Shandin Hills Middle School, at Kendall Drive/Little Mountain Drive; Marshall Elementary School, 3288 N. "G" Street; Northpark Elementary School, 5378 N. "H" St.; and Palm Elementary School, 6565 Palm Ave.
The travelling Christmas caravan is about a quarter of a mile long and comprised of a fire truck, which tows the historical trailer with Santa's sleigh and reindeer.
Santa Claus is on the sleigh along with many San Bernardino police officers, family and friends.
"We are unofficial ambassadors for the city," said police officer Jose Castro. "When we have contact with residents it's usually because something bad happened and they need our help, but this is one of the few opportunities for us to have positive interaction with the residents we've sworn to protect."
This year motorcycle officers have been given the opportunity to decorate their motorcycles with lights to add to the holiday spirit.
"The bikes will be shined up and decorated however the officer wants," Cervantes said. "It's up to them how they dress it up."
Castro said this is a chance to mingle with San Bernardino residents and to explain what police do and to show the equipment to people.
San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos donated money to pay for 35 cases of candy canes that the organizers bought at Laymon Candy in San Bernardino.
"The San Bernardino Police Department wants to thank San Bernardino residents for all of the support they've given us," said Cervantes. "We want to wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season."
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