EL CAJON, Calif. — A decades-old Thanksgiving parade known as the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon will not return this year. It has not been a live event since 2019.
“I remember every time we would get so excited, it was the only time me and my sister were OK with getting ready, early and going out there to sit on the street, seeing the floats go by,” resident Chelsea Sanchez.
Ashley Muller, also from El Cajon, said her favorite part of the Mother Goose Parade was “definitely the vendors.”
“The vendors on the side of the road, going home with something is always memorable,” Muller said.
The Mother Goose Parade, San Diego County’s largest Thanksgiving parade since 1947, is a holiday icon.
When asked how many times Muller has been to the Mother Goose Parade, she answered “my whole childhood growing up, like six or seven.”
The beloved parade that stretches throughout El Cajon, drawing in tens of thousands of people, is canceled for a third year in a row.
In 2020 and 2021, the Mother Goose Parade Association held the event virtually.
According to their website, the association canceled the event:
“Due to unprecedented staffing, logistics and supply chain challenges, we are unable to deliver the high quality parade experience and event our community has come to expect and deserve,” announced the Mother Goose Parade Association. “We are committed to following the high standards of entertainment and joy that the Mother Goose Parade has brought to tens of thousands of families and residents over the decades; we did not want to produce an event that was anything less than outstanding.”
Sanchez says she is really sad.
“It’s a tradition we did every year, it was something we looked forward to,” Sanchez said.
El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells says the city has helped the parade in the past with money, police and fire personnel, but after not having the event for a few years, it made for a challenging comeback.
“I think if it just were just money then we might be able to overcome that problem. I think the harder issue is they need more time, they’ve just ran out of time. And they didn’t have enough time to get staggering amounts of people,” Wells said.
On the parade website, they state the event will be back “bigger and better” in 2023.