There will be several reasons to celebrate during the Art Van Christmas parade this weekend, other than Santa’s early visit to Grand Rapids. This parade serves as a kickoff to the holiday season, and it happens to be the parade’s 100th birthday.
The parade started in 1919 as the Wurzburg’s Santa Clause Parade on Campau Square. Its main goal was to bring people in and excite them for holiday shopping. The parade was soon taken over by the Grand Rapids Jaycees.
It wasn’t until 2010 when Art Van Furniture joined the board for the parade, bringing a partnership with WoodTV8 to broadcast the event on live television.
The parade is currently the second largest in the state and competes with Detroit’s Thanksgiving parade. The event attracts about 30,000 individuals each year, and even more who watch the parade on live television.
Along with Santa’s early visit, promotions coordinator Wayne Bersano said that Miss Michigan 2019 Mallory Rivard will be making a special appearance.
The event is free for families and individual goers, and there will be time for a meet and greet with St. Nick after the parade. More information about the event can be found at https://www.santaparadegr.com/.