“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look at the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow…”
~ Songwriter Meredith Willson, 1951
Once again, the annual Montrose Christmas Parade made its way down our “silver lane(s) aglow” – Honolulu Avenue. Last week’s rains left the skies sparkling clear and temperatures cool across the Crescenta Valley on Saturday evening. Perfect weather for our parade and recognition of the Crescenta Valley High School CIF football champions.
The variety and contrasts of the entrants (animals included) along the route were rich. No mistaking that we live in Southern California!
This year the CV Weekly crew traveled by trolley – a beautiful, authentically designed, warm and dry one. How unique and quaint, I thought. But after a little research I proved my assumption wrong. The Glendale and Montrose Railway Company provided the only independent trolley system in the Los Angeles area, long before the Christmas parade made its way into local history.
In 1914 (100 years ago!), a standard gauge line ran from Broadway in Glendale, north up Cañada Boulevard through the Verdugo Woodlands and into the small town of Montrose. From there it headed north and then west on Montrose Avenue to the end of the line at Los Angeles Street (now La Crescenta Avenue). Ten years later the railway expanded deeper into the heart of La Crescenta with its final destination at Pennsylvania Avenue. Over the years trolley-travel saw many changes in operations and routes, and also ones dictated by economy, war and modernization. So it can be said riding a trolley through Montrose is “old hat.”
In the 2013 parade, our ride down Honolulu Avenue was atop a flatbed truck seated on bales of hay. Not only was the evening much colder but also a drenching light rain fell throughout the night. I guess means of parade travel are just a matter of personal preference. Robin and I both agreed that out in the open you can “really feel [part of] the parade.” Be it inside a cozy trolley or outside facing the elements (including the beautiful wolves), not much in life tops the thrill of a hometown parade. Although next year I’m hoping for a horse drawn carriage!
First the parade and now the weather takes a turn at adding a little excitement to the holiday season. Actually, it may be more than just a little. Just as the CV Weekly hits the sidewalk, so does rain from powerful storm. The NWS is predicting “a potent mix” of heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms as the front moves through our area Thursday and Friday. The chance of precipitation stands at 100%, and totals could reach four inches. With snow levels dropping to 4,000-5,000 feet, Mt. Lukens may get a dusting. Skies clear over the weekend providing a quick break. Then hold onto your umbrellas as another system arrives on the scene early next week, thus far predicting an 80% chance of rain. This one is not expected to be nearly the rainmaker as the first storm.
Weather-wise, for the time being anyway, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.