Thousands turn out for Toledo's Holiday Parade

11/17/2012
BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
CTY-parade18p

Co-grand marshall Olympic silver medalist and Toledo native Erik Kynard, left, and Santa Claus wrap up the 25th Anniversary Holiday Parade in Toledo, Ohio on November 17, 2012.

THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER

Co-grand marshall Olympic silver medalist and Toledo native Erik Kynard, left, and Santa Claus wrap up the 25th Anniversary Holiday Parade in Toledo, Ohio on November 17, 2012.
Co-grand marshall Olympic silver medalist and Toledo native Erik Kynard, left, and Santa Claus wrap up the 25th Anniversary Holiday Parade in Toledo, Ohio on November 17, 2012.

In its second year after being moved from the traditional Saturday after Thanksgiving -- a switch forced by Thanksgiving-weekend scheduling of the Ohio State-Michigan football game -- Toledo's Holiday Parade drew about 20,000 to 25,000 spectators today, organizers said.

The event, co-sponsored by Taylor Cadillac and The Blade, was led by the Scott High School marching band and then Olympic high-jump silver medalist Erik Kynard, Jr., who served as the parade's co-grand marshal.

PHOTO GALLERY

Mr. Kynard, 21, a Rogers High School graduate and Kansas State University senior, flew home Friday night ahead of the parade and Thanksgiving.

"I really just got swooped up. ... Of course I wanted to do it," he said about serving as grand marshal.

Mr. Kynard rode in a red convertible just ahead of the Rogers High School marching band.

Landon Hess, 2, hung on to his mother's back piggy-back style, near the start of the parade route, where they waited for Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear to make his appearance.

"That's why we came," said Kevin Marsh, the boy's grandfather. "He was Buzz for Halloween, and he's really excited."