West Michigan Tourist Association

Santa Parades and Events

Coopersville & Marne Railway's Santa Train

The 2012 holiday season won't officially start until the man in red rides into town, so be ready to greet Santa as West Michigan celebrates the lighter side of Christmas with these parades and events.

The 50th Annual Kalamazoo Holiday Parade

November 10 • 11 am
Discover Kalamazoo,
Downtown Kalamazoo
269-344-0795 | www.DiscoverKalamazoo.com

The parade is a yearly tradition, and organizations, businesses, schools, and colleges participate by hosting holiday community floats, marching bands, clowns, and other entertaining parade units. The parade is highlighted with the addition of almost 5 helium balloons that grace the sky for a dazzling performance of flight. Some of these famous balloon characters include: Felix the Cat, Theodore the Toy Soldier, Bob the Builder, Garfield and Friends, Holiday Christmas Tree, The Candy Cane, and a whole lot more! And as the tradition holds true, Santa is always the finishing finale. Public Media Network will televise the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade live (typically on Channel 21).

Silver Bells in the City

November 16
Greater Lansing CVB
Downtown Lansing
888-2-LANSING | www.Lansing.org

Celebrate the season with 80,000 attendees in downtown Lansing as we watch the annual electric light parade, light Michigan’s official Christmas tree and experience a beautiful fireworks display cascading over the capitol dome. Live entertainment, holiday shopping and free admission to downtown Lansing’s cultural institutions round out the evening at this fun, family-oriented event. For more information call (517) 487-3322.

43rd Annual Grand Rapids Jaycees Santa Parade

November 17 • 9 am - 11 am
Experience Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids
877-847-4847 | www.experiencegr.com

Let us be the first to wish you Happy Holidays!

Each year the Grand Rapids Jaycees welcomes the holiday season by hosting the Santa Parade in downtown
Grand Rapids. This year's Parade will take place on Saturday, November 17, 2012 and will begin at 9:00am.

The Jaycees look forward to this "signature project" every year, although its character has dramatically changed.
When it took over the Parade's management in 1969, the Jaycees pitched the Parade as a family-friendly event
to draw people to the downtown area. While this is still a goal, the professional parade floats, helium balloons,
live television coverage, website ads and Facebook page make the Parade look a little different now.

We look forward to sharing this event and helping to create new traditions for you, your friends and your family.

Battle Creek Holiday Parade

November 17 • 6 pm
Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, Downtown Battle Creek
800-397-2240 | www.battlecreekvisitors.org

Kick off the holiday season with the annual Holiday Parade in the heart of downtown Battle Creek. The parade features exciting and traditional holiday entries that such as floats, classic cars, bands, clowns, and community walking groups.

Santa on Saturdays

November 23 -  December 2 • 11 am - 2 pm
Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon
| www.muskegonartmuseum.org

Visit Santa at Festival of Trees! Bring your camera. (Santa gone for lunch 12:30-1:00pm)

Stafford's Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade

November 24 • 10 am
Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, Downtown Petoskey
800-845-2828 | www.petoskeyarea.com

Help the holidays march into Downtown Petoskey with the Stafford's Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at 10 am.

Stafford's Hospitality hosts this daytime parade that swoops into downtown carrying holiday excitement. This fun event includes marching bands, floats by local businesses, marching characters, and much more. The parade is wrapped up by its most popular participant, Santa Claus. After the parade, he will greet children on the Veranda at Stafford's Perry Hotel and listen to all of their Christmas wishes

Santa Train


Saturdays & Sundays, November 24 - December 23
Coopersville & Marne Railway, Coopersville
616-997-7000 | www.coopersvilleandmarne.org

Ride with the FUN GUY! Everyone loves Santa and Santa loves kids. Each of our vintage passenger cars has a special seat reserved just for the Big Guy and his friends. Elves will escort the children to sit with Santa. All kids get a present, even the shy ones! Our story-telling Princess will read from the book, "The Polar Express" which was written by Grand Rapids native, Chris Van Allsburg. All of our cars are comfortably heated and each has a restroom on board.

Victorian Sleigh Bell Parade & Olde Christmas Weekend

December 5 - 8
Manistee County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Manistee
877-626-4783 | www.visitmanistee.com

Enjoy roasted chestnuts and carolers as you take part in one of Michigan's most unique holiday celebrations. A whole weekend of excitement including the Sleighbell Parade with horse drawn entries, historic building tours, special Christmas production at the historic Ramsdell Theatre, Festival of Trees, concerts, museum and art exhibits, and much more. Parade Dec. 8th at 5:30pm

Downtown Traverse City Holiday Open House & Santa House

November 30
Downtown Traverse City Association, Traverse City
231-922-2050 | www.DowntownTC.com

Spend the evening with Santa and shopping throughout the unique shops in Downtown Traverse City. At 5 pm, shoppers will be serenaded with holiday music and can gather at the community trees at the corner of Cass and E. Front St. Attendees can join in a community sing-a-long of their favorite holiday carols accompanied by the Sweet Adelines. The excitement continues with Santa’s arrival in bright red antique fire engine!  Tree lighting at 6 pm, before spending the rest of the evening (6-9 p.m.) visiting with little ones at his holiday house at Cass and E. Front Street. While Santa is in his house, Antique Fire Engine Rides will be offered from 6:15 to 8 pm.

The Annual Coopersville Santa Claus Parade

Coopersville Area Chamber of Commerce, Coopersville
616-997-5164 | www.coopersville.com

One of the original night-time parades in Michigan, this annual event begins immediately following the lighting of Lori's Tree at the corner of Eastmanville & Main Streets.

Guests are invited to a free ride on the Coopersville & Marne Railway Shuttle from East Street adjacent to the school campus to the downtown area. After their return ride they are invited to have free refreshments while the children have a visit with Santa, get their faces painted and more.

Rockford Santa Parade

December 1 • 11 am
Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford
616-866-2000 | www.RockfordMIChamber.com

The streets of downtown Rockford will be filled with holiday cheer as the annual Santa Parade makes its way through Rockford.

The 2012 edition will be the 69th Annual Rockford Santa Parade.


59th White Lake Area Christmas Parade

Enjoy the spirit of Christmas in the White Lake Area.

December 1 • 2 pm
White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
, Whitehall to Montague
800-879-9702 | www.WhiteLake.org

On Saturday, December 1, over 100 participants will line up and follow the parade route from Whitehall to Montague. As usual, the parade will begin at 2:00pm with line-up starting at 1:00pm alongside the Whitehall City Hall tennis courts on Elizabeth Street.

Civic organizations and businesses, floats, fire trucks and marching bands from both Montague and Whitehall are just a few in the line-up to make an exciting parade. As the Grand Finale, Santa will be riding in a horse-drawn carriage. After the parade, children of all ages can join Santa at his house outside Montague City Hall. The community looks forward to sharing in this holiday season with family, friends and neighbors.

Entry in the parade is free for Chamber members, as well as non-profit groups and individuals. A small fee applies to politicians and non-members. Contact the Chamber for an application to join in on the fun!

Breakfast with Santa

December 1 • 8:30 am - 10 am
John Ball Zoo , Grand Rapids
616-336-4301 | www.JohnBallZooSociety.org

Relax in the cozy warmth of the Zoo “Ballroom” (2nd floor of the Park Administration building) as the kids make a craft, touch an animal and even visit with Santa! John Ball Zoo’s Breakfast For Santa is a great way to start the holidays! You’ll be treated to an all you eat pancake breakfast including fruit, pastry and sausage!

After breakfast, head into the Zoo for CHRISTMAS FOR THE ANIMALS!


Non Members:  Adults - $15,  Kids (3-12) - $12, kids 2 and under FREE

JBZS Members:  Adults - $13, Kids (3-12) - $10, kids 2 and under FREE


Lowell Christmas Parade


December 1 • 6 pm
Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Lowell
616-897-9161 | www.discoverlowell.org

Festivities include the Pancake Supper and Supper with Santa at the Lowell Fairgrounds, Santa parade along Historic Main Street, Flat River Freeze Ice Sculpture Challenge on the Riverwalk Plaza, pictures and visits with Santa on the Lowell Showboat, the Robert E. Lee, and Rudolph’s Craft workshop.

Gaylord Santa Parade

November 30 • 6 pm
Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau, Gaylord
989-732-6333 | www.gaylordmichigan.net

Santa Is Coming will arrive in Gaylord on Friday, November 30th for the Santa Parade at 6pm in downtown Gaylord.  Mayor Jenkins will hand Santa the official key to the City of Gaylord and the newly planted Community Christmas on the County Courthouse Lawn will be lit.

Come enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas by enjoying a carriage ride provided by Cook Family Farms after you have visited with Old St. Nick.


Reindog Parade


December 1 • 4 pm
St. Joseph Today, St. Joseph
800-906-9968 | www.SJToday.org

Come on down to St. Joseph, Michigan for the best way to kick off the holiday season. The annual reindog holiday parade features dressed up pets and their owners in a variety of holiday garb. The event is definitely one you will want to see. The pooches and their owners will then escort Santa into downtown St. Joseph.

1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for the best dressed pet and best group! Registration for this event is just $3. Day of registration and judging opens at 3:00 pm. Call 269-985-1111 for more details.


Mrs. Claus Tea

December 2
W.K. Kellogg Manor House, Hickory Corners
269-671-2400 | www.kbs.msu.edu/visit/manor-house

Join Mrs. Claus while she spreads good cheer at the Kellogg Manor House. Mrs. Claus will read stories, sign songs and sit for pictures with your child in front of our fireplace.

Formal seating is available in our majestic living room and dining room at 2 pm. Tables dressed with linens and antique china will add to this special experience.

The Manor House is beautifully decorated for the holidays by local artist who make their items available for purchase. Our holiday teas have become a holiday tradition for many of our customer. Tables fill quickly so make your reservation soon.

Christmas Stroll & Santa Parade

December 14 • 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fremont
231-924-0770 | www.fremontcommerce.com

Parade runs from the Fire Department to Santa's House in the Park. Santa will be available until 8:30 pm.

Stop by and decorate a Christmas Cookie with Huntington Bank in the park


Free Horse drawn Wagon rides at Veterans Park provided by Stariha Law Office Attorneys - Robert Stariha and Valerie Smulders


Free Coffee & Hot Chocolate from H&R Block

Santa's at the Castle

December 15 - 1pm - 3pm
Castle Farms, Charlevoix
231-237-0884 | www.castlefarms.com

Santa is coming to Castle Farms! Polar Express train display, story time, crafts including writing a letter to Santa and meeting   the jolly ol’ fellow himself.  Don’t forget to bring your cameras to get pictures with Santa!!! $5 per child, ages 2 and up.

Santa's House

St. Joseph Today, St. Joseph
800-906-9968 | www.sjtoday.org

Have a Merry Christmas! Santa will be at his house

Saturdays 12 noon - 5pm
Sundays 12 noon - 3 pm
Thursdays & Fridays: 4pm - 6pm