LODI (CBS13) — Thousands of people made their way to downtown Lodi hoping for a prime spot to watch the annual Parade of Lights.

It’s the 23rd year for the event and like every year, organizers say the competition to get a good seat is fierce. Every year around this time, the signs come out, the lights turn on and one by one, chairs start popping up.

“It’s really a tradition. I mean, I could remember some grandparents doing it, passing it on and now being a grandma, we have our kids do it,” said Calle Suskind, manager, of Purple House.

The chairs were placed on every street corner, along the sidewalks, and right in front of several downtown businesses. They were reserved by people who attended the city’s annual Parade of Lights.

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“A lot of them put ropes out. Last year, I had to take some down because some of the older people were starting to trip over them. So it gets a little crazy,” said Sean Guthrie of Ollie’s Pub.

Organizers said people used to set up their chairs hours before the parade, but now things have taken a turn.  This year, the chairs started showing up days before the event.

“I guess like an old animal they got to mark their territory, you know,” said resident Tony Bell.

Thousands of people attend the parade every year, which means more foot traffic inside local shops. Owners throughout the downtown area planned to stay open late.

“I think what draws people it, is just to kick off the Christmas season here in Lodi. We have a lot of wonderful participants, we have floats, walking groups, marching groups, groups on bicycles. It’s just a really nice community event,” said Chet Somera, manager of the event.

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Downtown visitors say their reserved spot along Lodi’s biggest event has always been respected and has become a part of the holiday tradition.

“It’s fair to me.  I mean, get your chair here, you get a good seat,” said Clifford Seehusen, who lives in Lodi.

There were more than 80 entries into the parade this year.


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