We are getting ready to welcome Santa at the Escanaba Christmas Parade Dec. 1. Santa will wrap up the parade and then greet children at the Escanaba Marketplace. There will be hot chocolate and music as they wait to see Santa. Escanaba does have the longest small town downtown in Michigan, jam packed with unique shops, great restaurants and dedicated businesses ready to welcome you. This Friday, Dec. 1, Escanaba gets ready for the holidays with a parade at 6 p.m. under the lit garland that lines Ludington Street. More than 65 area businesses and organizations will have floats and presentations in the parade.

The Escanaba Christmas Parade will be different this year.

It will start at a new time. The parade will start at 6 p.m. Hopefully a little warmer on a cold day as it starts to get dark and early enough for young ones to make it to bed on time.

The parade will run west on Ludington Street from City Hall to the Upper Elementary School. This is to provide less congestion at the west end of Ludington Street where it had more of an impact on businesses. Participants will line up from city hall into Ludington Park. There are more than 65 entrants this year.

The parade will turn off of Ludington Street at Stephenson Avenue and end on 1st Avenue North at the west end of the school. This allows for parade participants to return safely to the start at city hall for parking at the school. Going to North 22th Street does not offer a safe ending area for the parade. The shorter route also means less time that participants are exposed to the cold weather during the length of the parade. The route is still one mile long. However, it does impact some areas that will no longer have a parade pass by.

Following the parade, Santa will greet kids and pose for pictures. Santa will be available for kids to talk with and pictures can be taken with Santa. There will be hot chocolate and music as well.

A Prince and Princess will be chosen at random to serve as the grand marshalls of the parade. It is a great tradition to involve youth in the parade.

There are more than 65 parade entries including floats, bands and walkers. Nearly 100 boys and girls have sign up for the Prince and Prince. There is a lot of excitement for the parade. See you in downtown Escanaba on Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.
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