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November 27, 2009 - Steve Murch
I love the Alpena holiday parade. It was a nice parade when it took place during the morning. I even judged it a couple of years. To me, it's more enjoyable than the Fourth of July parade.
Sure, you have to dress warm and fight the cold but, perhaps surprisingly, that is part of its appeal. A parade at night in the cold? I'm sure there aren't many of those around the country.
Now that it has been in the evening the last several years, it has jumped in enjoyment. There is something about the floats having Christmas lights that adds to the holiday feel. They had Christmas themes before, but being during the day, the lighting effect was lost.
It also plays to a larger crowd. Before, plenty of people missed it because they had to work. Also, the morning shoppers tended to hit the stores and not see the parade.
At 4 p.m. (the parade starts at 5:30), the parking lots along the parade were full with people stacking out a spot to see the parade from the warmth of their cars. Of course, there are enough people who turn out now that the sidewalks will have plenty of people who might wind up blocking those views. There were plenty of chairs set up along the sidewalk and on the curb, so planners were ready. Shoreline Church had a sandwich board on the corner of Third Avenue and Chisholm Street announcing it had a warming shelter.
It's a great way to kick off the holiday season.
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