Annual Santa Parade in Middletown to kick off holiday season

Middletown will kick off the holiday season with the arrival of Santa at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, as part of the eighth annual TV Middletown “Home for the Holidays Santa Parade” presented by the Middletown Community Foundation.

“It’s a tradition in town now that people really love, and they want to be a part of it” said Linda Moorman, who co-chairs the parade with creator Jamie Murphy. “Everyone knows that on Thanksgiving Saturday they are going to be downtown to see Santa arrive. It’s a great part of the holiday.”

The Santa Parade will begin on Second Avenue by Middletown’s Midpointe Library on Broad Street and it will continue as Santa and Mrs. Claus are escorted into Governor’s Square. Downtown sections of Central and Broad streets will be blocked for the parade from 4 to 6 p.m.

Hosted by Ty Thomas and Christine Brunner, the parade will feature about three “Macy’s-style stop performances.” Crowds that gather for the parade will experience a wide variety of entertainment from musical acts and dancers to characters in costume like The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat, among others. Several hundred individuals and community organizations are set to participate in the half-an-hour parade, which will be later televised by TV Middletown. It will air on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.

“It’s such a fun event. The parade celebrates Christmas, and it celebrates a good time had by all,” said Ty Thomas, executive director of TV Middletown. “Of course, the big highlight of the day is Santa and Mrs. Claus coming in on their sleigh.”

A few of this year’s other highlights will include costumed Skateway skaters, Rosa Parks Elementary Fly High dance team, The Butler County Sheriff’s Office Pipe and Drum Corp and Knights of Columbus Color Guard, to name a few. Several Girl Scout Troops, as well as organizations such as Relay For Life and Hospice Care of Middletown, are among those that will participate.

“Hospice Care of Middletown is always so excited to be a part of Middletown’s Santa Parade,” said Judy Vincent, Family Support Services, Hospice Care of Middletown. “We are the hometown hospice and we very much want to participate in what Middletown does as a community, because we want to be a part of the community. Each year, we love being there with the others that are involved as well as those that are seeing it.”

Hospice Care of Middletown will have about 64 volunteers, staff and family members of all ages, who have signed up to walk, along with three antique cars, Vincent said.

Another aspect that will add to the festive occasion are the additional downtown decorations (from the railroad tracks to Main) that have been donated and placed by J.U.M.P., (which stands for Join In, Uplift, Motivate and Positive Attitude) a group of downtown merchants, who support the growing downtown business district. The downtown shops will be open before and after the parade.

Following the parade, Santa and the Mrs. Claus will continue to visit with children at Governor’s Square from 5 to 6 p.m.

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