“Parade of Lights” this year for the big “44th Annual Christmas Parade in Downtown Saline” and other events…
It’s a “Parade of Lights” this year for the big “44th Annual Christmas Parade in Downtown Saline” scheduled for Saturday evening, December 7th. Over the years this event has steadily gained a reputation as one of the biggest and best Christmas Parades in all of southeast Michigan. “Deservedly so!” says Larry Osterling, Executive Director of the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce, the organization that plans and organizes the parade. “We start planning for this event in July and not only do we always have a ton volunteers, but every year we have a great offering of performing groups and floats that make it fun for people of all ages This year is no different. In fact, we already approaching a near capacity number for the amount of units we can accommodate. For any entertainers or float builders who we haven’t heard from so far I recommend contacting the Chamber and put in their application as soon as possible.”
Christmas Parade festivities kick off with a special “Tree Lighting Ceremony” the Tuesday before on December 3rd. Held at the Saline’s main intersection at Michigan Avenue & Ann Arbor Street at 6:00 p.m., there’s a few special Christmas season thoughts, caroling, and light refreshments served in the KeyBank lobby. This year’s special emcee will be Kim Kaster, owner of Brewed Awakenings Cafe.
Well-known radio personality and community leader Lucy Ann Lance will again be the Parade’s emcee. Parade start time is at 5:30 p.m. and visitors are encouraged to show up before 5:00 p.m. Parking downtown is limited due to street closures. Visitors can and are encouraged to use the free Saline Area School Bus shuttle from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. running between the UPS Store inBusch’s Shopping Center and the West Henry Street parking lot behind Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack. Following the Parade, children will want to visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause at “Santa’s Village “at 131 East Michigan Avenue in downtown Saline.
The holiday fun continues on Saturday, December 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the popular “Treasure Trails to Santa” event held at Busch’s Shopping Center. Kids of all ages can start at Physical Therapy in Motion and follow the designated trail finding treats along the way ending with a visit with Santa. There’s also an opportunity for a free horse-drawn carriage ride.
All coordinated by the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce with a wealth of business community and volunteer support, Osterling adds, “We can all be proud of the way we pull together every year to make the Christmas Parade bigger and bigger every year. I know I’m proud too and I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the generous support we receive from the City of Saline, the Busch’s Grocery Raffle, and our other great sponsors—like DTE Foundation, MMI Engineering Solutions, Saline Pharmacy, Edward Jones, EHM Senior Solutions, McNaughton & Gunn, Hartman Insurance, Waggle ‘N Whiskers, Saline Rotary, and more that are coming in every day. The Chamber wants to make sure all of our sponsors are duly noted and appreciated by the thousands of spectators who’ll be on hand for this year’s Parade. They’re the ones that make it all happen!”