Christmas Comes to Cheboygan!
As I look out the office window and reflect on all the activity Cheboygan has seen this past year, I can’t help but smile with the memories of great Chamber events like the Annual Awards Dinner and Waterways Festival, the buzz that was generated by articles that Crain’s Detroit Business published highlighting Cheboygan’s entrepreneurial spirit! City Council’s approval to submit the Michigan Main Street Program application and of course our Chamber being recognized as the Best Small Size Chamber in the entire State of Michigan! It’s been a positively progressive year for our quaint town, and the possibilities for 2019 are endless.
So now, with the bulk of the year behind us, it’s time to slow down a bit, and enjoy time with our family, friends and neighbors. I can’t think of a better way to do that, than with the Annual Parade of Lights & Community Christmas Party! This event is always one of the best of the year, and really shows how great our wonderful little town really is. Seeing generations of family lining the sidewalks to take in the sights and sounds of the season, hearing the excitement in the kid’s voices as the lighted snowplows, tow trucks, fire trucks and floats roll down Main Street. Feeling the anticipation build as the end of the parade nears, knowing that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be going by at any minute! This is what makes planning the Parade of Lights worth all of the effort. Giving back to the community and sharing in the joy that the season brings.
This year, we are adding a few new items to the agenda for the evening. First of all, there are going to be some trophies for parade entries. These trophies will be awarded to 3 parade entries, which will be judged by 3 Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce Board Members. 3rd
place – The Candy Cane Trophy, 2nd
place – The North Pole Trophy, and 1st
place – The Rudolph Trophy will be selected and awarded just before the parade begins. These trophies have been generously sponsored by EXIT Realty Premier and Mulligan’s. Make sure to watch for these as the parade makes its way down Main Street. There will also be one other trophy awarded by the Parade Grand Marshal. This is the Grand Marshal’s Choice award. This year for our Parade of Lights, Mr. Richard Sanford will hold the title of Grand Marshal. Mr. Sanford can be credited with many accomplishments, some of the most notable are, being one of the founding members of The Cheboygan Economic Development Group, The Cheboygan County Community Foundation and most recently Mr. Sanford spearheaded efforts to clean up the wooded area alongside the Cheboygan River in Major City Park. We are proud to be able to honor Mr. Sanford for his dedication to the growth and prosperity of Cheboygan. Mr. Sanford will also have the honor of lighting the Community Christmas Tree at Festival Square immediately following the parade.
Building on events from last year’s Parade of Lights, we will once again welcome Gary Engle with G-Man entertainment as our “MC” for the evening. Gary will be set up in front of Festival Square and begin spinning the holiday hits around 4:00 pm, stop by and say hi. Gary will continue to play holiday tunes until the parade begins and will emcee the parade as it passes by. We will also have visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Festival Square, hot cider and donuts provided by Northshore Community Church, hot cocoa and popcorn from Calcite Credit Union, a Christmas Carol sing-a-long with Dale Rieger, compliments of Mulligan’s and much more! With a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation, we are able to provide a couple fun surprise additions this year. One of which is sure to help light up the crowd with Christmas spirit!
Now, for the details. The 2018 Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce Parade of Lights, brought to you by the DTE Energy Foundation will step off from Court Street at 6:00 pm on Saturday December 1st
. The route will proceed North on Main Street and end at State Street. Parade entries will continue to the Eagle’s parking to ensure a smooth finish. Parade viewing will be optimal on Main Street from Elm St. to Festival Square, where parking will be restricted on both sides of Main Street. Please note: walkers will be passing out candy and trinkets to parade viewers, please watch your children so they don’t run out onto the street to get the goodies, the parade moves at a slow pace, but it is extremely difficult to see children if they dart out in front of the moving vehicles. Directly following Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Kiwanis/ Key Club float will feature Dale Rieger who will lead the sing-a-long all the way down the sidewalks of Main Street to Festival Square. Everyone is invited to join him, by walking along sidewalk, participating in the sing-a-long, or just enjoying it, and gathering at Festival Square for the Community Tree Lighting and Christmas Party! Wear your favorite holiday attire, and decorate your strollers, wagons and kids! Santa Claus will finish the parade route, and enter Festival Square from Huron Street. A few minutes after everyone gathers at Festival Square, our Mayor Mr. Mark Bronson will welcome everyone and begin the countdown to the tree lighting. Once the tree is lit, we will continue with our Community Christmas Party, enjoying refreshments, caroling and Santa will be there to visit with the children.
If you are interested in entering the parade with a decorated vehicle, float or walking unit, there is still time! You can pick up an entry form at the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce office located in Washington Park, online at www.cheboygan.com
or call us at (231) 627-7183 and we can accommodate you. We can’t stress enough, that if you are participating in the parade with an entry that you do not throw candy or trinkets from a moving vehicle or float. All give-a-way items are to be handed out by parade walkers. This is a liability for the Chamber, and each entry is required to have a signed application agreeing to not throw anything from the moving entry. Thank you- we look forward to a great Parade of Lights and Community Christmas Party this Saturday! Merry Christmas Cheboygan!