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Santa Parade strolls into downtown

November 22, 2013
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Santa Parade strolls into downtown
The Santa Parade in Grand Rapids dates back to the 1800s. Photo via santaparadegr.com

Downtown Grand Rapids is kicking off the holiday season tomorrow.

The Art Van Santa Parade presented by the Grand Rapids Jaycees is designed to “bring people downtown for a kickoff to holiday shopping,” according to the parade’s website. The parade dates back to the 1800s.

Grand marshal

Actress Peyton List will serve as this year’s grand marshal.

List is best known for her roles on the Disney Channel’s comedy series “Jessie” and ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia.”

She has also appeared in several films: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Remember Me” and “27 Dresses.”

Clydesdales

The Express Employment Professional Clydesdales will also be making their second appearance at the parade.

“The Express Clydesdales are world renowned, and we’re so excited to have them return for this great holiday tradition,” said Mike Pemberton, parade chairman. “This year, the Express stagecoach, drawn by the Express Clydesdales, will feature television personality Maranda and families from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital."

The theme of this year’s parade is “Music in the Air” — and to make sure there’s always music, 10 bands will perform in the parade, and there will also be four musical acts.

Balloons

The parade will also feature 20 feet tall or higher cold-air character balloons, sponsored by several local companies.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will end with a celebration at Rosa Parks Circle, which will go until 12:30 p.m.

Santa Claus will be posing for photos at Rosa Parks Circle, and children can visit his reindeer, as well as enjoy some fun activities.

The parade will be broadcast live on WOOD TV 8 and hosted by Rachael Ruiz and Terri DeBoer of “eightWest.”

A map of the parade route is online.

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