The City of West Covina, CA annually hosts Easter and Halloween-themed events for the children in their community; however, the Kiwanis Club of West Covina noticed a lack of Christmas-themed celebrations in their city. “There is a Tree Lighting at one of the city’s malls, but that seems to be geared to parents and is commercialized. We would like want to fill that gap,” said Brad Manning, project chair. That’s why on December 8, 2018, the club hosted the city’s first Christmas Children’s Parade and Santa’s Village!
In partnership with local businesses and sponsored SLP clubs, the West Covina Kiwanis club used a Club Grant from the CNH Children’s Fund to bring the walking parade to life. A half-mile route led by the West Covina High School Marching Band, the parade was filled with more than 500 children and adults as they walked through Old Glendora Ave.
Groups within the city also participated in the parade, like youth sports teams, school clubs, scout troupes, and many more. Children and their families lined the streets as they waved hello to the parade’s participants, including Santa Claus himself!
The parade concluded with Santa’s Village, where entertainment was provided by the different parade groups and a DJ. Children were also allowed to take photos with Santa and receive a candy cane. Christmas boutiques, food, and different activities were also provided at the Village.
City administrators and community members alike were amazed by the event! “The principal of one of our schools couldn’t stop commenting on how his 6 year-old got high-fived by Santa,” shared Brad. The club intends to make this Christmas Parade a signature project to ensure that their community has a true service event. “It really is project of love. The parade will…provide a much needed program for the children of West Covina.”