About

Through the Years

About the Parade

The parade originally started in 1919 as the Wurzburg’s Santa Clause Parade on Campau Square. The parade was designed to bring people downtown for a kickoff to the holiday shopping. Seeking new leadership, the parade was taken over by the Grand Rapids Junior Chamber (formerly the Grand Rapids Jaycees). Of note, our most well-known member to date is the late great President Gerald R. Ford. The Junior Chamber has insured that the parade is a great community event with leadership and volunteer opportunities.

From 2010 – 2019, title sponsor Art Van Furniture came on board, adding large scale attractions and a partnership with WoodTV8 to host the event on live television. Today the parade is the 2nd largest in the state of Michigan, competing against Detroit’s Thanksgiving parade.

Rebranding in 2022 as the Grand Rapids Santa Parade, the Grand Rapids Junior Chamber is excited to carry on the legacy!

Don't Miss it!

Iconic Santa Claus Float

The parade’s most sought after entry, Santa Claus, will be flying into West Michigan in style! Santa will ride in the historic Jaycee’s sleigh that dates back to the 1950s, the sleigh will soar Santa over snow covered Grand River and the iconic Blue Bridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

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