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The holiday season is just around the corner and so is the 2017 Garden City Downtown Development Authority Santaland Parade. The theme of the 57th annual parade is a
Storybook Christmas. Participants are urged to incorporate this theme when designing their entries. Participation forms can be found online by visiting the parade website and www.santalandparade.com .
Highlighting this year’s parade is Miss Michigan USA, Elizabeth Johnson. Miss Johnson was just crowned Miss Michigan USA on September 30. The parade will also include four high school bands. Along with mainstay, the Garden City Cougar Marching Band, the Santaland Parade will feature the returning Livonia Franklin Patriot Marching Band the combined Taylor Kennedy and Taylor Truman marching band. New this year will be the Robichaud Bull Dog Drumline.
The Great Lakes Garrison, a subdivision of the 501st Legion premier Imperial Star Wars costuming group returns as a fan favorite along with The Great Lakes Ghostbuster Coalition. Another favorite, the Redford Unicycle Club, will return to this year’s parade. The Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions will be represented with their mascots Paws and Roary. Add in tons of classic cars, marching groups, scouts, service organizations, characters, Stan the Fireman, businesses and of course Santa and you have one of the best holiday parades in all of Michigan. Last year the parade included 80 entries.
The parade begins at Garden City High School, travels south on Middlebelt, east on Ford and ends in the Garden City Town Parking lot (northeast corner of Ford and Middlebelt) where the title sponsor of the parade, the Garden City Downtown Development Authority will hold their
post-parade event with hot chocolate, cookies and give aways along with an opportunity for kids to meet with Santa and some of the groups from the parade. The parade will be shown
live locally on GCTV (channel 12 on Comcast, channel 18 on WOW and channel 99 on Uverse) and will also be streamed live around the world to Facebook (City of Garden City, Michigan) and
to the GCTV U Stream channel. Links to all of these options can be found on the City’s website at www.gardencitymi.org.
Along with the title sponsorship of the Garden City Downtown Authority, the parade is supported financially by a number of businesses included the Buccilli Group ($2,000) the DTE Energy Foundation ($2,000), Garden City Hospital ($1,000) Inkorporate Graphics (in-kind), Barsamian Family Dentistry, GC Medical Center, the Santeiu Family, Orin Jewelers, Fleming Financial Services, Hersey’s Shoes and Gordon Chevrolet (All $500). $250 has been contributed so far by Dr. Harvey Ellis DDS, Garden City Ace Hardware and Comcast. The parade committee also wishes to thank Gordon Chevrolet and North Brothers Ford for loaning the parade vehicles to use during the parade. The parade committee is still accepting donations and information about becoming a sponsor is available online at www.santalandparade.com.
The first Santaland Parade was in 1961 and put on by the Garden City Jaycees. Currently the parade is run by a volunteer committee that is a part of the Garden City Community Coalition. The day of the parade, over a hundred volunteers are used to handle staging, the parade itself, television production and any other elements of the parade’s operation.