RACINE — Downtown Racine Corp.’s 17th annual Holiday Parade and Community Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, along Main and Sixth streets.
The grand marshal of the parade is Special Olympics of Wisconsin Chapter 719.
New this year, pre-parade festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Monument Square, Main and Sixth streets. Bounding Main, a Racine-based vocal group, is set to perform a unique blend of maritime and holiday themed songs. Since forming in 2003, they have been performing shows filled with spirit, humor and harmony all over the United States and Europe.
Alahna Rae, local 12-year-old singing sensation and winner of 2018 Racine’s Got Talent, will then entertain until the parade begins with a few songs of her own. In addition to the pre-parade musical performances, there will be balloon twisting for the kids, along with hot chocolate and cookies for sale.
At 5:30 p.m. the parade officially begins at State and Main streets, continues south on Main Street and west on Sixth Street. Dancers, carolers, characters and Santa Claus himself will be in attendance. Other entries include a Norwegian Viking boat by Sons of Norway, decorated tractors by CNH Industrial and the crowd favorite, Big Cart by Festival Foods.
“This parade is the official kickoff to the 2018 holiday season,” said Kelly Kruse, Downtown Racine Corp. executive director. “It gives residents and visitors a chance to check out all of the new retail shops and restaurants that have opened in 2018 and revel in the improvements that have been made to so many storefronts. Our goal is to bring the community together to celebrate the season, while also shedding light on the amazing holiday shopping and dining opportunities that downtown offers.”
Letters to Santa
Children are invited to bring their letters to Santa. U.S. Postal Service mail carriers will be walking the parade route collecting letters to make sure they arrive at the North Pole in time for Christmas.
Immediately after the parade, holiday entertainment continues on Monument Square with the Park High School Choir and an encore by Rae. Wrapping up the night will be the lighting of the community holiday tree with Mayor Cory Mason.
Vets to be honored
Once again this year, the Holiday Parade falls on the weekend of Veterans Day. To honor veterans, there will be American flags handed out on Monument Square during the pre-parade. The parade will begin with a veteran salute by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
Warm Accessories Drive
A Warm Accessories Drive to provide essential winter items like scarves, gloves, mittens and hats for area charities will also be held in conjunction with this year’s parade and community tree lighting ceremony. Items can be dropped off at Monument Square from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Accessories will also be collected at these sites through Nov. 20:
- Downtown Racine Corp., 425 Main St.
- Indian Motorcycle of Racine, 522 Sixth St.
- Milaeger’s: 4838 Douglas Ave., Caledonia, and 8717 Highway 11, Sturtevant
- Sew N Save, 3701 Durand Ave.
- Texas Roadhouse, 6228 Durand Ave.
- Chick-fil-A, 5315 Washington Ave.
Parade goers are encouraged to get Downtown early to find parking, reserve their parade viewing location and get started on their holiday shopping list at their favorite downtown merchants.
Parking can be found at the Lake Avenue Ramp (300 Lake Ave.), Civic Centre Ramp (501 Lake Ave.) and the McMynn Ramp (120 Seventh St.) all day for $2.