The holiday season officially arrived Saturday as large crowd cheered as Santa Claus made his way up Washington Avenue on the final float of the Holiday Magic Parade in downtown Royal Oak.
Temps in the mid-40s should have been comfortable for parade watching, but some folks were buffeted by brisk winds, too.
"We are anticipating 20,000 people,” said Stephanie McIntyre, a spokeswoman for the event. “It’s not as cold as it has been in the past and it’s not raining, so that is good.”
The parade included 80 units such as floats, dancers, marching bands, scouting groups and unicycle riders from the Redford Township Unicycle Club on giant bikes.
“We’ve got more floats this year and more participants,” Mayor Jim Ellison said. “It is going to be a great parade and thank God, the weather is cooperating with us.”
Jim Harper of Magic 105.1 served as the parade’s Grand Marshal. He finishes up his long-time career in Metro Detroit at the end of this year.
“I honored to be here. This is such a lovely parade,” Harper said. “There are a ton of people out. Everybody is excited about Santa and of course we’re excited because it draws attention to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.”
Parade watchers were asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be collected along the parade route by Marines and given to a local deserving child.
Do you have photos from the parade? Please add them here! The more the merrier!
Looking for something to do the rest of the day? Here's a great list of more holiday magic happening in your community.
Happy holidays, Royal Oak!