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Published: Saturday, 10/24/2009

Downtown holiday march is to step off on Nov. 28

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Taylor Automotive Group's helium-filled balloon makes its way along downtown Toledo streets during the 2008 parade. Taylor Automotive Group's helium-filled balloon makes its way along downtown Toledo streets during the 2008 parade.
JETTA FRASER / THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The 22-year tradition of holding a downtown holiday parade will not be broken - at least not this year.

Toledo's annual Holiday Parade will go on again through the streets of downtown Nov. 28, The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem, and Taylor Automotive Group have announced. The three companies are major sponsors of the parade and an expanded two-day holiday event this year.

"Downtown Toledo will be Holiday Central for families eager to launch the season," said Joseph H. Zerbey IV, The Blade's president and general manager. "The Blade and its partners are proud to serve as Santa's helpers in sponsoring this expanded celebration."

Megan Robson, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's spokesman, said the city administration was "thrilled to see an expanded celebration" for the holiday season this year.

"Toledo for many years has had a wonderful downtown parade that has attracted thousands of people," Mrs. Robson said. "This is a tradition we hope will never end."

The Blade and Buckeye CableSystem expanded the festivities to two days and three events.

The annual Parade, dubbed "Up, Up, Hurray," will take place Nov. 28.

"Kris Kringle Village," a two-day attraction at the Erie Street Market, will run Nov. 28 and Nov. 29. It will feature children's activities, live entertainment, holiday vendors, horse-drawn carriage rides, and live reindeer.

"Breakfast with Santa," a sweepstakes, will entertain winning families at the Imagination Station the morning of the parade. Details on how to enter the contest will be released soon, said Mike Mori, Blade advertising manager.

The annual parade attracts hundreds of participants each year. It will include stories-high helium balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, equestrian units, dance troupes, and an appearance by Santa Claus.

It begins at 11 a.m. at Summit and Jefferson streets, will travel north on Summit to Jackson, and finish on Huron Street at 12:30 p.m.

The parade's future seemed uncertain after the 2007 decision by CitiFest Inc. directors to dissolve the organization.

Directors of CitiFest, which for 20 years had staged events such as parades, Rally by the River, and other public parties, voted to disband the group because of its financial collapse.

"It will take 300 or more volunteers along with substantial financial support from the business community to get the parade down the street and the Village up and operating," Mr. Zerbey said. "We encourage anyone with an interest in supporting either or both of these events to contact Mr. Mori at 419-724-6380."

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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