For decades, a Christmas parade of floats, bands and marchers has been a downtown Fresno tradition, heralding the holiday season.
But the parade has been canceled for this Christmas season, in what would have been its 82nd year.
The culprit isn't the Grinch, but the city's budget crisis, said city parks spokeswoman Heather Heinks.
In recent years, the parade cost $15,000 to $20,000 to stage under the auspices of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, which had 160 employees two years ago, Heinks said.
This year, the city budgeted $5,000 for the parade and the department is down to fewer than 50 employees, Heinks said.
Instead of a parade, the city and several community groups are planning a Christmas festival on Dec. 10 that will end with the lighting of a large tree in front of City Hall
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