GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., The West Michigan holiday season will officially kick-off with the Art Van Santa Parade, presented by the Grand Rapids Jaycees! On November 21, downtown Grand Rapids will be filled with holiday cheer as this year’s parade entrants celebrate the holiday season through the theme “Unwrap the Magic.”
The parade is sure to delight audiences of all ages with a lineup that is packed with marching bands, professional floats, cold-air balloons, and many special guests! The parade will be televised live by WOOD-TV 8 and hosted by Jordan Carson, Rachael Ruiz and Ellen Bacca. Tommy and Brook from Star 105.7 will be remote broadcasting from the parade as well!
The Parade kicks off at 9am at the corner of Michigan St. NW and Monroe Ave., and continues south on Monroe Ave. past Rosa Parks Circle. The parade will conclude just past the intersection of Fulton St. and Monroe Ave, and feature more than 80 entries, including the ever popular Express Clydesdales, presented by Express Employment Professionals.
“It is because of the commitment of companies such as Express Employment Professionals, the Grand Rapids Jaycees are able to continue to grow the Art Van Santa Parade as a top holiday event in the region,” said Danielle Proctor, Jaycees parade chairman. “Investment from organizations like Art Van Furniture, Express Employment Professionals, ITC, and PNC Bank are the key component in ensuring the continued success and growth of this historic event.”
The Express Clydesdales will be arriving in Grand Rapids on Thursday, November 19th at 4:30pm and will be making a public appearance at the Express Employment Professionals office, located at 333 44th St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548.
Special Celebrity Guests
The Jaycees are also excited to announce that Rachel Reenstra, host of the fun, Emmy Nominated ABC weekend animal series “The Wildlife Docs” will preside as the Grand Marshal and singer/songwriter Matt Giraud will be the Guest of Honor.
Rachel has previously starred in her own series on Animal Planet in a show called “Ms. Adventure” where she traveled the world comparing animal and human behavior. Her extensive career includes appearances in sit sitcoms, films, national commercials, and many, many voice-overs.
Matt has achieved national recognition and acclaim for his performances on the hit Fox TV show, American Idol. As a favorite of the judges, he was the first ever recipient of the judges’ save, Matt went on to finish 5th on Season 8 of American Idol (2008-2009). He has appeared on various media outlets and continues to tour the entire world and will be performing along the parade route for us.
“We are thrilled to have Rachel & Matt, both West Michigan natives, a part of this historic kickoff of the holiday season,” says Grand Rapids Jaycee President Rachael Eerdmans. “With the help of our title sponsor, Art Van Furniture, we are able to continue to grow and bring great features like this to the parade and foster young professionals in our community through its planning process.”
It wouldn’t be the Art Van Santa Parade without the man in red himself! After the parade be sure to visit Santa at the Grand Rapids Art Museum for photo opportunities. Both Rachel Reenstra and Matt Giraud will be available after the parade for fans to meet as well as sign autographs.
The Art Van Santa Parade will also be broadcast live on WOOD TV8 starting at 9am on November 21st.