MONTROSE -- Eleven-year-old Cora Gullett almost guessedthere were 17
wrapped gifts in Santa's bag, sitting in a Montrose storefront window.
But something changed her mind.
"I just had that little feeling that said, '16,' " she said.
Her final guess was right on and with it came the honor of becoming
the Montrose Christmas Parade's Jr. Grand Marshal.
The grand marshal contest was just one of the many events that drew
hundreds of residents to Honolulu Avenue on Friday evening for the annual
Montrose Christmas Tree Lighting.
The event was begun by the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. four years ago
as a way to bring old-fashioned holiday spirit to the area.
While guest singers and the Rosemont Middle School Band entertained
onlookers, a number of other local residents walked around, admiring the
brightly lit trees that lined the street.
"We love to see the lights," said Glendale resident Laura Hipke, who
brought her children Dustin, Katie and Tintin.
"It makes it seem like a little village in the middle of the big
city," she said.
After the Jr. Grand Marshal winner was announced, Glendale Mayor Dave
Weaver did the honors of lighting Montrose's official Christmas tree,
which sits at the corner of Ocean View Boulevard and Honolulu Avenue.
Three-thousand small white lights were used to decorate the tree, said
Honor Haase, a member of the shopping park association's event committee.
Montrose holiday activities will continue Dec. 2 when the Christmas
parade comes to town, in which Cora Gullett will ride in a red
This was the fourth year that a girl has won the contest, Haase said.
"Maybe they're just better at guessing," Haase said, jokingly.