Holiday revelers will be treated to a blast from the past this weekend at the 50th annual South County Holiday Parade.
The annual parade, which began in 1966, will pay homage to its roots Saturday with a “Groovy Grover Holiday” theme, a nod to the parade’s 50th anniversary this year.
“We decided to go retro,” Grover Beach recreation coordinator Nora O’Donnell said. “You know, peace out and all that stuff.”
Local groups have been taking to the theme with aplomb.
ResCare: The Learning Center had been planning its float even before Halloween, program director Raneile Jeffers said Thursday.
“We all love it,” she said. “It’s just so fun to be involved in the community and the community spirit.”
The business — a day program for adults with physical and developmental disabilities — is planning a “groovy van” float this year, with one of the ResCare vehicles featuring a Volkswagen van cutout on the front. Some of the facility’s clients who use wheelchairs also will have their own VW van cutouts to carry as they travel the parade route, Jeffers said.
“It’s pretty much we’re trying to get together all the hippie-theme Volkswagens,” she said. “I think it will come out cute.”
Jeffers said many of the people in the program participate in making the float and walking in the parade. This year will feature many of them sporting tie-dyed T-shirts and singing ’60s jingles, she said.
On Thursday, a trio of the program’s participants were decorating the VW van cutout with painted flowers and hearts at the day program’s headquarters in Grover Beach.
As they painted, they chatted about their excitement to be walking in the parade and who would walk with them.
“I enjoy seeing the individuals that come here get so excited,” Jeffers said. “A parade to them is huge, and they love getting out there with people cheering them on.”
O’Donnell said parade attendees could expect to see all the usual suspects — youth bands, schools, and, of course, vintage cars — as well as some businesses and groups that are new to the parade this year. In all, there are more than 60 entries involved in the celebration.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Grand Avenue and 16th Street and will continue down Grand to Ramona Garden Park, where the city is also holding its Santa’s Workshop Fine Art and Craft Faire until 3 p.m.