on Main Street, since we are in the holiday season? This week, we'll
turn back time and see how Santa came to see the kids in 1960 and
rode his sleigh on Main Street.
The parade was a way the merchants kicked off the holiday shopping
season in the Downtown. But times were changing and by 1960 the town
had expanded outward, and whereas Main Street was the hub of the
shopping district in the 1948 parade, it was now losing out to small
retail strip centers in other parts of the city.
But for one brief moment, the Christmas parade and the Downtown
regained its golden glory of times past. The guiding force behind
these parades were the chamber and its flamboyant secretary --
manager Bill Gallienne. The city and the chamber can be very proud of
having such a great person as William "Bill" Gallienne in their
The 1960 parade held a special meaning to Ann Minnie. That year
her father, Don Minnie, was the parade's retail merchant chairman. As
in years past, it was Gallienne and the chamber who planned the
entire holiday event.
This year, the parade was called the All Southland Salute to Santa
Claus and a date of Dec. 2, a Friday evening, was chosen.
Don Minnie collected more than $1,000 from businesses to be used
to fund the parade and band review. Gallienne spent many nights
arranging bands to appear in the parade, and this year he was able to
get 30 bands and drum corps.
He arranged to have the Sun Devils, a 130-piece band from Arizona
State University, come and lead the parade. A dozen local girls
competed for the title of Miss Merri Christmas in a contest held in
Memorial Hall in the old Civic Center. It was Lawrence A. Petersen of
the California Bank who had the honor of placing the queen's crown on
the head of 16-year-old Chris Celia Campanelli of Huntington Beach.
Denise DeFabio, Carol Jo Johnston, Karen Olsen and Barbara Smith were
chosen princesses and would ride with Campanelli on the Queen's
This year, the parade and band review would begin at Palm and Main
streets and travel down Main to the Pav-a-lon at the pier, where the
awards and trophies would be handed out by Queen Chris.