A Very Merry Mitten
About the Parade
The parade originally started in 1919 as the Wurburg’s Santa Clause Parade on Campau Square. The parade was designed to bring people downtown for a kickoff to the holiday shopping. Seeking new leadership, the parade was taken over by the Grand Rapids Jaycees. Of note, our most well-known member to date is the late great President Gerald R. Ford. The Jaycees have insured that the parade is a great community event with leadership and volunteer opportunities.
In 2010, title sponsor Art Van Furniture was added bring large scale attractions and a partnership with WOODTV8 to host the event on live television. Today the parade is the 2nd largest in the state of Michigan, competing against Detroit’s Thanksgiving parade.
Iconic Santa Float
The parade’s most sought after entry, Santa Claus, will be flying into West Michigan in style! Santa will ride in the historic Jaycee’s sleigh that dates back to the 1950s, the sleigh will soar Santa over snow covered Grand River and the iconic Blue Bridge.
Take a Photo with Santa
Meet Saint Nick directly after the parade and take your photo with him!
This free event will take place in front of the PNC Bank.
We’re looking for individuals and groups to get involved! Volunteer roles include parade marshals, parade staging, hospitality and so much more.
Show off your stuff to thousands of parade-goers and television viewers as your group marches down the streets for Grand Rapid’s largest holiday parade.
The parade is looking for local marching bands wanting to show off their stuff this holiday season.
Be a Sponsor
We’ve got plenty of unique opportunities for your business to get involved in this annual event. Sponsor a band, a larger than life cold-air balloon, a performance, or something uniquely your own. Sponsorships packages are available in a variety of levels which can include options from signage, banners, live interviews & television coverage.
Want to be a sponsor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to ITC
Former title sponsor and active sponsor for ten years and counting!
End of Parade
Pursuant to guidelines and general rules for conduct set forth by the Grand Rapids Junior Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated organizations (hereinafter collectively “Jaycees”), entries of a controversial or political nature are prohibited. We also require that all units display a Christmas Spirit, adhere to the theme, and display excellence in visual, musical, and performance. These standards were established to ensure the highest quality parade is delivered for the pleasure and enjoyment of the entire community.
Jaycees reserves the right to limit or exclude any accepted entry from participation in the Parade for non-compliance to these guidelines and the general rules for conduct, or for any other justifiable reason not covered in these guidelines and the general rules for conduct.
The acceptance of any entry for participation in the Parade shall not constitute the Jaycees’ endorsement of that entry’s organization, commercial enterprise or issue-based and/or political position