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All About The Parade

Annual Holiday Tradition Inspires the Pointes

Everyone loves a parade, and this past November 25th, the people of Grosse Pointe were able to experience an extra-special holiday treat. The 97th annual Santa Claus Parade featured a great lineup of traditional participants but also showed off new floats and a very special group of horses!

“The Budweiser Clydesdales were going to be in the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade, and thankfully, when they’re ‘in town,’ they like to participate in all the local parades,” says Jennifer Boettcher, the executive director and president of the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce, which took over the reins of the parade in 2012. “I believe they were in the parade many years ago, as they rarely come to town.”

Other participants included the Golden Retriever Group, the West Highland White Terrier Group, the Red Baron group - which helped carry sponsor banners - girl scout and boy scout troops, dance groups, Detroit Ghostbusters, beautiful princesses, and many others.

“The parade has always kept its magical tradition but has grown to be a larger parade with more marching bands and additional floats from The Parade Company,” she says. “The groups/organizations participation has increased, and the spectatorship has grown. It’s no longer just a hometown parade, but a parade that people from afar come to watch.”

Thousands of people of all ages lined the streets to enjoy the music, dancing, laughter, and of course, a ho-ho-ho from Santa! It’s a great 40 minutes of incredible and varied entertainment and has something for everyone.

For many families, the parade has become a part of their annual tradition. It’s a way to kick off the holiday season and get ready for all the fanfare and fun of the Christmas holiday. It’s just another great reason to live in and around Grosse Pointe.

In addition to the Santa Claus Parade, the Chamber also hosts a Scavenger Hunt. “To promote our fabulous local businesses throughout the holidays and encourage the community to shop locally, the Chamber is putting on a Toyland Scavenger Hunt,” says Jennifer. “Participating businesses throughout the community will be giving out small toys.”

The Toyland Scavenger Hunt maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce on Kercheval Avenue. The Hunt started on Friday, November 25th , and will continue through December 18th.

Visitors and shoppers to downtown have also been able to enjoy the transformation of Kercheval Avenue into Christmas Street, which gives the community another opportunity to come out and celebrate the holiday. “All of Grosse Pointe becomes a magical holiday spectacular offering an exceptional shopping experience,” she says.

These events are a great way for people to discover all the great local businesses in Grosse Pointe and a nice way for business owners to give back. “Supporting community events is an excellent way for businesses to prove their dedication to the community that helps make them successful,” says Jennifer. “Customers will connect the positive experience they had at the community event and the businesses that helped make it happen.”

She adds, “Without the financial support and participation of the business owners, the parade would not be possible. Their participation also gets the word out to more people that may have never heard of their business before. It drives goodwill, business connections, and personal connections.”

Jennifer has been part of the Chamber since 2006, basically since the organization’s inception. “I enjoy giving back to the community I was born and raised in along with my five siblings, and where I’m raising five sons with my husband,” she says.

The Grosse Pointe Chamber offers many resources for the local business community and those who patronize it, such as gift certificates to various shops, gyms, restaurants, and more. On its website, people can also find podcasts highlighting local businesses along with employment opportunities.

For more information about the Chamber, its events, and other scheduled happenings coming up in the future, visit or call (313) 881-4722.