Grace Golembiewski, left, and Garrett Weyand, both from Shelby Township, watched last year’s Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade as it rolled down Main Street in Rochester.

Grace Golembiewski, left, and Garrett Weyand, both from Shelby Township, watched last year’s Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade as it rolled down Main Street in Rochester.

File photo by Brandy Baker


Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade to march down Main Street

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 27, 2018

ROCHESTER — Downtown Rochester will be filled with holiday cheer this Sunday as crowds gather to watch the 67th annual Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade.

This year’s parade, which Parade Chairman Tim Crawford said is the largest Christmas parade in Michigan, will be held Sunday, Dec. 2.

Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce President Alaina Campbell said the chamber’s foundation starts thinking about Christmas in July.

“Literally, that’s when planning for the Rochester Area Hometown Christmas Parade began in full force,” she said.

Over 75,000 people attend the parade each year, setting up chairs and blankets along the route as early as 8 a.m.

“Probably the vast majority of people that live in our community have been in the parade at one time or another,” said Crawford. “It’s just a fun event.”

After securing a viewing spot, families are invited to the Older Persons’ Commission for a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Rochester Hills  8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Paradegoers can also enjoy some new experiences this year, according to Campbell.

Children can visit the new Santa Wonderland warming tent area — sponsored by Ascension Providence Rochester, Heartfelt Impressions Learning Center and The Event Place by Something Fabulous — at Fourth and Main streets in downtown Rochester to participate in holiday-themed activities.

“The warming tent will be decked out and open at 10:30 a.m. to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will roll up in a limo at 11:30 a.m. Children can have a photo taken with the big guy himself, compliments of the Crawford Insurance Group, and there will be lots of fun activities, such as a sing-along, craft stations, face painting and, of course, hot cocoa and cookies,” Campbell said.

The parade — led by grand marshals Dr. Bradley and Barbara Barnes — will roll down Main Street, starting at the corner of Tienken and Rochester roads, beginning at 2 p.m. and will head south to Third Street. For the seventh year, the parade will also host junior grand marshals, who this year are Julia Payne, from Rochester High School, and Kevin Lenard, from Stoney Creek High School.

The parade will feature over 100 units, including floats, bands, dancers, horses, Scout groups, churches, community organizations, businesses, nonprofits and more.

“It’s a great time to get excited and get in the Christmas spirit about giving back into the community. There are so many things that happen in our town that literally improve the lives of people not only in our community, but around the world … so it’s a real great opportunity to showcase all the community involvement that happens in our great town,” Crawford said.

Those who would prefer to stay indoors can watch a live stream of the parade provided by Rochester Hills TV at www.rochesterhills.org or www.facebook.com/rochesterchristmasparade.

The Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union and is organized by the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation. For more information, call (248) 651-6700 or visit www.rrc-mi.com.