Santa Claus has agreed to take a break from toy making and ride along in the annual Christmas Parade to be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Tehachapi along F street. Following the parade, the jolly St. Nick will flip the switch at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony for the town's Christmas Tree at the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum. Both events are free and open to the public.

It's that time of year again to bundle up the kids and head to downtown Tehachapi for the 18th Annual Christmas Parade to be held Saturday, Dec. 1. Lauded for its nighttime uniqueness, "Christmas in Candyland" will begin at 5:30 p.m., and will travel along F Street, beginning at Mulberry.

According to Ida Perkins, president of the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, this year's parade will be as colorful as ever with more entries expected this year.

"The best viewing is probably between Pauly to Davis streets," Perkins said.

Judges will once again select their favorite entries from their post to be located at F and Green streets. Last year, the Judges' Overall Favorite Award went to Tehachapi Pest Control.

Immediately following the parade, Santa will return to the Depot where he will gather more wish lists as the crowd gathers in front of the Depot for the annual lighting of the town's Christmas tree.

"I have spoken personally to him (Santa), and he will be there to hear all the youngsters' wishes for Christmas," Perkins said. "Mrs. Claus will be there as well."

The parade will feature the Tehachapi High School marching band, equestrians, floats, antique vehicles, civic organizations and all-things Christmas.

Said Perkins, "Come out and enjoy a really special community evening. It just brings the community together, and it kicks off the holiday season."

For information on the 18th Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, call Perkins at 822-4180.