By Chris Frost
Oxnard— Regulars at the Wilson Senior Center in Oxnard were busy, Nov. 26, as the group of ladies were working together to get their float ready for the Annual Christmas Parade downtown Dec. 1.
The group was busy cutting, painting, and listening to music as the day took on a holiday feel for everyone.
Oxnard Senior Services Recreation Coordinator Deanna Marquez said many people work on the float every year and right after the parade is the tamale festival.
“They’re painting, glittering, gluing all the projects we have, whatever the theme is,” she said. “They also get to ride on the float and wave. Our commissioners are also a part of that and the ahead in the truck in front of us. The whole theme for the parade this year is “Merry and Bright,” and we are doing Santa’s sleigh this year and we have the reindeer, Santa’s elves, a Christmas tree, presents, a snowman and anything we can think of that is merry and bright.”
Volunteer Jean Reed said there is a star made of coat hangers that took a lot of work.
“I help out every year,” she said. “It’s hard work cutting everything out and doing all of this. We’ve been doing this for three weeks, and they always give us our stuff too late.”
Marquez said the group is under the gun for the parade and they work on the float every afternoon. Reed said it would be better if they have six months warning for the parade theme.
“We have a time limit and have to be done by 4 p.m. every day,” she said. On Saturday morning, we will come at 7:30 a.m. and we have somebody who donates his tow truck every year, and we decorate it before 9 a.m. when we have to be at the parade route.”
Marquez loves seeing all the seniors work together on a project.
“It’s amazing to see all the ideas they come up with and the creativity that everyone brings to the table,” she said.
Reed also loves participating.
“George asked me if I wanted to be in the parade they have at night, and I said sure,” Reed said.
Marquez said the seniors have an annual holiday parade at the Oxnard Performing Art Center on Dec. 13. Tickets are available at any of the three Senior centers for $15 and include lunch and entertainment. Date is December 13th 10:00am-2pm. The Oxnard Special Populations have their holiday party on Dec. 8.
“The children meet here at the Wilson Senior Center, and we’ll use the decorations for the party,” she said.
Assistant Director Ayde Almarez is in charge of drawing and painting the float designs, and everyone said the group would be lost without her.
“I love doing the float, and they give us different themes to work on,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of our senior volunteers.”
She loves being at the center and hearing all the different stories each senior shares.
“Drawing is like a therapy for me,” she said. “This group is creative. I spend the most time painting and cutting the cardboard.”
For more information, call 805-385-8019.
451 West Fifth Street
Oxnard, California 93030
1000 Town Center Drive
Oxnard, CA 93036
(Walk-in & Drop-off)
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.