The Historic Folsom Hometown Parade, once again captivated the community with its patriotic spirit and local charm in grand fashion on Saturday. The event was a continuation of a busy week in the Historic District, following Thursday’s nights weekly Summer Twilight Series concert and the 3rd annual Hometown Country Radio show on Friday, two events that packed the Zittel Family Amphitheater and the parade followed suit, drawing an enormous crowd.

Prior to the parade, a community pancake breakfast was held, offering a bargain meal that benefitted a local nonprofit organization. This year’s Hometown Parade, presented by Lakeside Church and the Folsom Hotel, commenced at 9:30 a.m. and traversed Sutter Street from Scott Street to Decatur Street.


With some 70 entries, the parade featured both returning favorites and new additions, including mini donkeys from the Folsom Zoo, Santa’s Cottage, roller-skating cowboys, the Painted Ladies precision equestrian team, and a summertime sample of the Historic District’s popular holiday ice rink. Numerous local participants represented service clubs, youth groups, and local entertainers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be able to present this family-fun event to the district once again,” said Historic District Executive Director Judy Collinsworth. She shared with the Folsom Times that about 70 volunteers united to help orchestrate this year’s parade. These dedicated volunteers played numerous roles, from planning the event to decorating early in the day, staging entries, managing parking, and providing “hometown hospitality” to the throngs of attendees.


Saturday’s wave of red white and blue made its way down Sutter Street Saturday, beginning with the Color Guard leading the convoy of nearly 70 different entries this year. Folsom’s own Jessica Visconti did the honors of presenting the National Anthem this year as she made her way by vehicle down the street in the early moments of the event. From there, it was a menagerie of various entertainment, floats, bands and more, many of which put together by local service organizations, businesses, youth groups and individuals.

Members of Folsom’s City Council and various city and county leaders made their way down the street, each escorted aboard beautifully restored vehicles, which were just a few of many impressive cars and trucks in the parade this year.  The entries even included a bit of Folsom’s Christmas magic this year, with Santa’s Cottage, put together by Bacchus House Bistro, giving spectators a preview of what’s to come this year when the holiday season arrives in the district. 

Watch the entire Folsom Hometown Parade Livestream

Longtime Folsom pastor and resident Brad Franklin served as the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade. Franklin retired in October after 36 years as the founding and lead pastor of Lakeside Church. He was followed by a float carrying members of the Lakeside music team, who played live music along the route. Kristen Brown, a leading competitor on “The Voice” in 2023, sang “America the Beautiful” to open the parade, and Jessica Visconti of the Visconti’s Ristorante family performed the national anthem.


Franklin expressed his honor and excitement at being named Grand Marshal, sharing, “I love that our growing city still feels like a small town. I love the way people connect and serve in our city, and I love that our churches get to be a part of that.” Franklin, who lives in Folsom’s Historic District with his wife and pastoral partner, Donna, shared his signature phrase: “’Love your neighbor’ expands to ‘love your neighborhood,’ which expands to ‘love your community.”

As Saturday’s strolling spectacle wrapped up, it became apparent that it’s now officially rodeo time in Folsom as the Folsom Pro Rodeo and new Sacramento County Sheriff’s Rodeo was well represented as the final few entries in the parade. From the Rodeo Legends to the little mutton busters, grand marshal Brian Martell, Sheriff Jim Cooper and of course, the always graceful and colorful Painted Ladies Rodeo Performs atop their beautiful horses officially closed the parade. 


The sides of Sutter Street were packed with spectators on Saturday. However, for those unable to attend in person, the event was live-streamed for the first time this year by local online news resource and their community partners. Viewers could watch the event live or on-demand later through the community news site, with free access for all.

The Historic Folsom Hometown Parade once again proved to be a heartwarming celebration of community, patriotism, and local spirit, leaving attendees eagerly anticipating next year’s festivities. Folsom Times photos by Bill Sullivan.