Mother Nature was able to hold the rain to a drizzle just long enough for the 48th annual Orcutt Christmas Parade to go marching by Saturday afternoon.
Just as the parade ended, with Santa riding atop a red vintage car through Old Town followed by two fire engines, a heavier rain began to fall.
Spectators scampered for cover.
Like Christmas magic, Clark Avenue instantly reverted back to a normal street, with all the elves and reindeer that had been frolicking down the parade route minutes earlier nowhere in sight.
The parade carried on its merry way despite the sprinkle, with local organizations, schools and businesses traveling on foot, bikes, motorcycles, inline skates and in cars. Passersby handed out candy along with Christmas wishes to the crowd.
Floats were few and far between in the small-town affair, which traveled east on Clark from Broadway to Twitchell Street.
The parade was organized by the Residents for Old Town Orcutt Preservation (ROTOP) and the Orcutt Community Foundation.
This year’s grand marshal was Jim Glines, founder and president of Community Bank of Santa Maria and a California state champion auctioneer.
Community members turned out to watch the parade despite the weather, huddling with blankets and hot drinks in bunches along Clark.
One Orcutt family parked on a side street behind a barrier blocking off the parade route at Clark, where they watched the event from inside their truck so they could be sheltered from the rain.
Angela Kincaid said they saw someone else park that way, and followed suit.
“It’s usually ugly, but it’s usually not raining,” she said of the weather at the parade.
Debra Taylor, whose husband, Eddie, was in the parade with United Way, said she believes she has only missed one Orcutt Christmas Parade in her 25 years in the town. She was not going to let the rain stop her from coming.
“It’s tradition,” Taylor explained.
A number of children took part in the parade, including Boy Scout and Girl Scouts troops and school marching bands.
Young people without instruments to play Christmas carols shouted them out instead.
An Orcutt Daisy Girl Scout troop withstood the weather to participate in their first parade.
Marching in the parade helped the girls earn a “Daisy Petal” patch for being courageous and strong, said their leader, Angie Blackburn.
“I think they were very brave and strong,” Blackburn said at the end of the parade route.
“They had a lot of fun,” she said, noting the girls had decorated the wagons they pulled.
Troop member Carly Snow, 5, didn’t mind walking in the sprinkling rain.
“I liked it,” she said.
Fellow troop member Calista Freeland, 5, said she most enjoyed “throwing out the candy.”