Grand Rapids Santa Parade

Parade Features

The 2015 Art Van Santa Parade has some exciting features set for the big event!

Rachel Reenstra

Rachel Reenstra, host of the fun, Emmy Nominated ABC weekend animal series “The Wildlife Docs” will preside as the Grand Marshal. Rachel has previously starred in her own series on Animal Planet in a show called “Ms. Adventure” where she traveled the world comparing animal and human behavior. Her extensive career includes appearances in sit sitcoms, films, national commercials, and many, many voice- overs.

Rachel Reenstra - Santa Parade Grand Marshall

Matt Giraud - Santa Parade Guest of Honor

Matt Giraud

Singer/songwriter Matt Giraud will be the Guest of Honor of the 2015 Art Van Santa Parade. Matt has achieved national recognition and acclaim for his performances on the hit Fox TV show, American Idol. As a favorite of the judges, he was the first ever recipient of the judges’ save, Matt went on to finish 5th on Season 8 of American Idol (2008-2009). He has appeared on various media outlets and continues to tour the entire world and will be performing along the parade route for us.

The Express Clydesdales

The Express Clydesdales from Express Employment Professionals will trot along the parade route, beginning at the corner of Michigan St. NW and Monroe Ave., and continuing south on Monroe past Rosa Parks Circle.

The world-renowned Express Clydesdales have been competing and touring in North America since 1999, most recently winning first place in the Clydesdale Four-Horse Hitch, the Clydesdale Six-Horse Hitch, Clydesdale Ladies Cart, Clydesdale Unicorn Hitch and the Clydesdale Team competition at the prestigious Calgary Stampede’s World Champion competition in Calgary, Alberta. Additionally, Danny, a five-year-old member of the Express Clydesdale team was named the Supreme Champion Clydesdale and won Best in Show during the competition. Please visit for more details about the Express Clydesdales.

Rachel Reenstra - Santa Parade Grand Marshall

New Santa Float

The parade’s most sought after entry, Santa Claus, will be flying into West Michigan in style! The all new Santa Float is a great new feature. Santa will ride in the historic Jaycee’s sleigh while he soars over a snow covered Grand River and the iconic Blue Bridge.

Sponsored by:

Art VanPNC Bank Huntington BankMacatawa BankBlue Cross Blue ShieldLake Michigan Credit UnionLacks Enterprises, Inc.Metro Health
Grand Rapids JayceesAmwayExpress Employment ProfessionalsTrivalent Group

About the Parade

Founded in the late 1800’s, the Grand Rapids Santa Parade was designed to bring people downtown for a kickoff to 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 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 bringing large scale attractions and a partnership with WOODTV8 to host the event on live television. It’s going to be another great Art Van Santa Parade presented by the Grand Rapids Jaycees!

Get Involved

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

Art Van
Grand Rapid Jaycees
Express Employment Professionals
PNC Bank
Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan
Lacks Enterprises
iHeart Media (Star 105.7)
K&M Dodge/Ram
Crystal Flash
Gilson Graphics

The Parade kicks off 9am at the corner of Michigan St. NW and Monroe Ave.

The Parade will conclude just past the intersection of Fulton St. and Monroe Ave.

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