Mount Clemens Santa Parade

Mount Clemens Santa Parade
Photo: mount-clemens-santa-parade.com
On the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, the city of Mount Clemens, Michigan hosts the annual Mount Clemens Santa Parade that kicks off the holiday season. The parade was founded in 1975. Over the years, it has become the highlight of the city’s holiday calendar and a major tourist attraction.

The first Mount Clemens Santa Parade wasn’t really a parade at all. It featured a single float with the jolly old elf. The float brought the elf to the front door of the parade’s main sponsor, Prieh’s Department Store. The store sponsored the parade in order to boost its sales during the holiday season.

Despite its modest scale, the inaugural parade was a success, so it was decided to make it an annual event. In 1976, the Santa Claus Parade was part of the area’s Bicentennial celebrations. It was sponsored by a group of local business leaders. Over the years, the event has had a variety of sponsors. In 2004, First National Bank in Mount Clemens and Mount Clemens General Hospital created Metro Macomb Productions, a non-profit board designed to produce the parade.

Two years later, Metro Macomb canceled the parade due to lack of sponsorship. But locals loved the parade so much that they launched a fundraising campaign to save the event. The Mount Clemens Santa Claus Parade Steering Committee made up entirely of volunteers was created to organize the parade and ensure that Santa Clause still visits the city every year.

The Mount Clemens Santa Parade features more than 90 units including beautifully decorated floats, cars and trucks, marching bands, and performance groups. Everyone is allowed to participate in the parade, provided that they submit their application beforehand. The parade is county-wide inclusive. Several Macomb County communities participate, sending their leaders and floats to Mount Clemens.

Mount Clemens Santa Parade

Photo by Tom



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