Club News

Kiwanis Club preserves holiday tradition

Lead Story

Holiday Lights


HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR Outdoing the neighbors with displays of holiday spirit.


Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:23 pm

Scott Forstner • Staff writer | 0 comments

The holiday season may have officially begun, but the local kickoff for winter spirits happens Dec. 2 at the 32nd annual Holiday Lights Parade, organized by the Morgan Hill Kiwanis Club.

Santa Claus, in his magical ship, and Mayor Steve Tate, in a restored 1926 Seagrave Fire Truck, cap off the hour-plus holiday march through downtown by leading the lighting of the giant Christmas tree outside the Community and Cultural Center.

“I really think it’s one of these big things we do, like the Friday Night Music Series, the Fourth of July and the Safe Trick Or Treat, where our community can come out, have fun and still feel like a town,” said local resident Mary Lou Conragan, Chair of the Holiday Lights Parade for the local Kiwanis Club. She has been involved with organizing the event for a decade.

The parade, which begins at 5:30pm and rolls on from Monterey at First to Monterey at Fifth in downtown Morgan Hill, involves local school marching bands, color guard and cheerleading units as well as local youth sports teams and service organizations who get the Yule tide fun going for everyone in attendance.

“It’s a tradition,” Conragan added. “It’s a small, hometown parade and I think Morgan Hill clings to a few of these things to keep that feeling of inclusiveness.”

There are 56 entrants in this year’s parade, including performers from Lana’s Dance Studio and members of student groups such as Associated Student Body, Future Farmers of America, 4-H, Interact and more.

After the parade, Santa sticks around to visit with children to hear their Christmas wishes, while Congregation Emeth will light a candle to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. At the amphitheater, located at 17000 Monterey Road, will be the choir from St. John’s Church caroling holiday favorites such “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer” and “Jingle Bells.”

“In my 10 years doing this parade, the size has greatly increased, almost doubled and the people who enter have spent a lot more time with their entry floats,” Conragan said.

Scott Forstner is a general assignment reporter who covers education and other community issues for the Morgan Hill Times. Reach him at (408) 963-0122 or via email at

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