SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The Santa Maria Parade of Lights kicked off December with hundreds of spectators from across the Santa Maria Valley tonight.
The parade presented by the Rotary Clubs of Santa Maria and Nipomo was canceled three years in a row due to COVID-19 and weather conditions.
This year, the parade was hosted by our very own Scott Henneessee, Alys Martinez and Dave Alley.
Other people we spoke to said they began attending the parade as kids and now bring their own grandchildren.
“My grandchildren, you know, bringing them here, it's it's fun. It's exciting. Of course, I love seeing Santa Claus at the end. It's very, very fun, said Jerry Prendez from Lompoc.
People reserved their spots hours before the show.
“Every time everyone comes out, it's it's just crazy packed with so many people. So, I mean, I love it. I mean, you could tell. Santa Maria loves it," said Prendez.
The parade also had many new comers, floats and sponsors.
“This is our first time. I'm very excited. It's our first time. So I'm like, you know.. I like how the band is. It's going amazing, basically. So I'm like, basically speechless," said Martin Jimenez from Santa Maria.
Community members say seeing the city come together brings them joy and hop for the future.
“Just the togetherness and being hopeful, just being here, all rounding up again. Everybody out in Santa maria.. Hopeful again. And I just I love it. I love all the giggles and people in their outfits. So I do. I love it," said Brenda Alejo from Santa Maria.