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In a foggy way

Drivers should allow extra time to get there
By: Loryll Nicolaisen Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn skies were a hazy shade of winter Tuesday. While the calendar says winter doesn’t officially start for a couple of weeks, foggy, crisp air might have led foothill residents to think otherwise. “This time of year it’s typical to get fog,” said Eric Kurth, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento. “We’ve had some rain, and the moisture is essentially trapped, and when the winds are light, it just kind of stays there. You’re basically getting a cloud at the ground.” While fog is typical for cooler months, it lowers visibility on the roadways. Kelly Baraga, public information officer with the California Highway Patrol, said there are a few things motorists can do to stay safe on the road. “With foggy days, give yourself a little more time to commute, because the driving speed should slow down,” Baraga said. Baraga also suggests relying on other senses, in addition to vision, when behind the wheel. “If you can’t see something, roll down your windows because sometimes you can hear what you can’t see,” she said. Kurth said the foothills, and the Sacramento region at large, could see patchy fog through Saturday. A little fog isn’t going to change anything for those planning and participating in Saturday’s Festival of Lights parade. Sunday is slated as a rain date for the parade, which starts at the Gold Country Fairgrounds and works its way into Downtown Auburn, but fog? The show will go on, in all its holiday glory. “Fog is never fun to drive in, but the parade moves slowly,” said Bruce Cosgrove, CEO of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. “It will add to the winter wonderland atmosphere. The fog will probably add a little extra holiday ambiance. We do anticipate that it will be cooler than normal, so people will want to dress warm. Parade entries have exceeded the 100-participant cap. “We’re probably going to have 106 entries,” Cosgrove said. “It’s a huge parade. With this event, it’s rare that we don’t have 100 entries. The streets will be filled with people.” The parade begins at the Gold Country Fairgrounds at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, proceeding on Auburn-Folsom Road before turning right on High Street. After heading up to the clock tower, the route continues onto Lincoln Way, officially coming to a stop at Cherry Avenue but unofficially trickling up to the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. After waving his way through Downtown Auburn, Santa Claus is scheduled to park his sleigh outside of the Big Salad Shop at the corner of Lincoln Way and Cherry Avenue, where he’ll greet and give gifts to good girls and boys. Spectators should dress warmly and bring a battery-powered radio, as parade organizers have changed up parade commentary. Instead of live commentators stationed along the parade route, the parade now features live commentary by Dave Rosenthal from KAHI Radio 950 AM, which the station will broadcast for anyone with a radio to hear. Come sleet or rain or fog or snow — this really happened a few years ago, Cosgrove said — the parade goes on, and for good reason. “I think it’s the combination of the fact that it’s at night, it is a very festive parade, all the entries are decked out in twinkle lights, the floats go all out to play Christmas music, and I personally feel the ambiance of Downtown Auburn is just magical,” Cosgrove said. Call (530) 885-5616 for additional information. The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment online at Auburnjournal.com.