Kick off the holiday in Mount Clemens

Santa Parade returns for 37th run down Main

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published November 15, 2012

MOUNT CLEMENS — Forget about shopping for big discounts this Black Friday — there will be a plenty of sales, fun and floats, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be right in downtown Mount Clemens for the Macomb County Santa Parade Nov. 23.

The 37th annual parade will move along Main Street from 10 a.m. to noon, with more than 100 participants and floats decked out for Christmas.

Mount Clemens Mayor Barb Dempsey, chair of the Mount Clemens Parade Steering Committee, which is putting on the event again this year, said spectators can expect much bigger and better things this year, along with some surprises.

“It’s a Mount Clemens tradition,” said Dempsey, who has chaired the parade for the past seven years. “The community really gets around it and it just has gotten bigger and bigger each year.”

The Macomb County Santa Parade begins in downtown Mount Clemens on Main Street at Church Street, and it will continue six blocks north to Clinton Street. It usually concludes by noon, at which time Dempsey will present a key to the city to Santa and Mrs. Claus at the stage at Clinton and Main.

This year’s parade grand marshals are a local hero originally from Mount Clemens — Sgt. Davin Dumar — and his wife Dana. Dumar was injured by an IUD while serving in Afghanistan. Escorting the Dumars will be the color guard from Mount Clemens AMVETS Post 29.

More than 100 different participants, such as marching bands, service clubs, corporate sponsors and youth groups, will be involved in the parade this year, either leading Christmas carols, showing decorative holiday floats or simply entertaining, like 79-year-old Harrison Township resident Pat Koss, who will be dressed as the Geico “Pig.” She will be doing her best to impersonate the squealing menace while sticking her head out the window of a Mustang she will be traveling in.

“Doing that was on her ‘bucket list,’” said Dempsey.

Four marching bands will provide a live holiday soundtrack during the Santa Parade, including the Mount Clemens High School Band, Utica High School “Chieftains,” L’Anse Creuse High School-North Crusaders, and the St. Luke Lutheran School Gold Band. The Carbar Feida Pipes and Drum, First Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, and the Gratitude Steel Band will also be playing live music.

“The Boys Scouts will be out there, and this is the 100th anniversary for the Girls Scouts, so they’re going to have a huge group,” said Dempsey, adding that the parade will go on, no matter the weather.

“It’s bigger than what people expect,” she added. “It’s not like the Thanksgiving parade in Detroit, but it’s definitely a nice hometown-atmosphere type of parade.”