RCHS Marching Cougars light it up during the annual Ontario parade


Photo Courtesy: Ange Silva

The RCHS Marching Cougars prepare to march their first step on the parade route.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, the city of Ontario held its annual Holiday Light Up Parade to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. The RCHS Marching Cougars (RCMC) and color guard attended this festive event to help provide a musical performance.

The parade began promptly at 6:30 p.m. on Fourth Street and traveled down Euclid Avenue, concluding on B Street. Spectators started to fill the east sidewalk areas of all three streets around 5 p.m.

Unlike a traditional parade where the band would wear their hats, or “shako,” the Marching Cougars adorned festive headgear, such as headbands and Santa hats.

Additionally, everyone was decorated with Christmas lights to add to the festive atmosphere.

“It was a lot of fun, I really loved getting to see all the Christmas lights,” said junior Megan Estrada. Estrada is part of the alto saxophone section of the Marching Cougars. “Figuring out where to put the lights with all my friends was really fun,” said Estrada.

Along with the musical performances, festive parade floats, cars decorated with lights, and cheerful dancers were showcased at the event.

Other members of the band were also filled with excitement during the parade, including junior trumpet player Vincent Torres.

“My favorite part was marching through the streets and seeing all the colorful parade floats,” said Torres.

Many of the dancers in the performance had carefully choreographed routines, including the RCHS color guard.

“It was a lot of fun. The funnest part was looking into the crowd and seeing all the happy kids,” said sophomore color guard member Isabella Cucinella.

The Ontario Holiday Light Parade is a tradition that many residents of both Ontario and neighboring cities participate in. Many families come together to view the parade and some help out, including parent and frequent volunteer for the RCMC Ange Silva.

Silva said the part of the show that brought her most joy was to watch all the band and color guard members perform together.

“To see everyone go from bubbly teens to very focused and serious performers in a moment is so fascinating to me,” said Silva. “I enjoy all the lights and the feeling of joy from all the families around.”

For many of the members of the RCMC, the parade was a very fun experience that brought the holiday spirit to the community.