Thanksgiving has once again come and gone, which means that family members can work on digesting their considerable food intakes of the past week and focus squarely on the holidays to come in December.
SamTrans has already turned its attention to the yuletide season, with considerable effort being put in to decorate the Holiday Bus, a glittering, gleaming vehicle that will participate in Redwood City’s Hometown Holidays festivities.
For the sixth straight year, the decorated SamTrans bus will take part in Hometown Holidays Parade, which begins at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday. Along with agency employees and the famous mini-bus—a shrunken, one-man version of the real thing—the SamTrans Holiday Bus will make its way through downtown Redwood City along the parade route.
SamTrans maintenance crews have outfitted the bus with more than 1,000 lights, decorating both the exterior and interior of the vehicle with an array of different-colored bulbs. The bus will also feature a Holiday-themed wrap and graphics on the exterior, as well as some seasonal ornaments, including a couple of reindeer on the front bike rack.
Following the conclusion of the parade, the bus will stage at the Sequoia Station Transit Center, which is right next to the Redwood City Caltrain Station. There, the bus will be open to all visitors, with SamTrans representatives giving away candy canes, hot drinks and cookies.
“Kids just love it,” said Ana Rivas, the Superintendent of Bus Transportation at SamTrans’ South Base facility. “And there are people who have never seen the inside of the bus coming in to explore.”
This year’s decorators had a little extra work cut out for them, as SamTrans opted to use a 40-foot hybrid bus for this year’s Hometown Holidays event. In the past, the agency has used its 29-foot buses, but to accommodate more visitors in Redwood City, and to tout its use of environmentally-friendly equipment, SamTrans opted to go with the hybrid version this year, Rivas said.
The whole scene makes for an amazing time, particularly when Caltrain’s Holiday Train rolls into Redwood City while the Hometown Holiday gathering is underway. The entire downtown area is awash in festive colors, and SamTrans and Caltrain are right in the center, entertaining the crowds.