Final Preparations for Holiday Extravaganza
Volunteers working hard to put finishing touches on family-friendly event
Photo cutline – Rock Girl Cayla, from WRIF 101 FM, is serving as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the 34th Holiday Extravaganza Parade.
PONTIAC, Mich. – December 1, 2015 – Behind the scenes in offices and homes throughout the greater Pontiac area there is a small army of volunteers working tirelessly to make sure everything is in place for families who attend the annual 34th Holiday Extravaganza on Saturday, December 5.
The 2015 Holiday Extravaganza Parade is presented by Genisys Credit Union and Michigan Works of Oakland County. This is a FREE, family-oriented event that features lots of children’s activities as part of the Children’s WinterART Festival and the Gallery of Ice with live demonstrations starting at 8:30 am. Even parking is FREE. The event is a collaborative effort between the communities of Auburn Hills, Pontiac, Waterford, and White Lake and coordinated by the non-profit for the Holiday Extravaganza Parade.
Last year, nearly 10,000 people attended the parade, and another 2,000 people participated. The WinterFUN Festival activities attracted thousands of families. Organizers hope to top those numbers this year as the Holiday Extravaganza Parade celebrates its 34th year.
“This year we are excited to celebrate and coordinate the 34th year of Holiday Extravaganza, which will be the most exciting parade, to date,” said Jackie Buchanan, President/CEO of Genisys Credit Union. “We have been working the entire year to bring together communities to celebrate and kick off the holiday season.”
The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. Dec. 5 starting at the Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency on Cesar Chavez and continues down Saginaw Street ending at the Phoenix Center. The Honorary Grand Marshal this year is Rock Girl Cayla from WRIF 101 FM. People of all ages will delight in the colorful display of floats, smile at the sight of horse-drawn wagons and carriages, enjoy the festive music from local marching bands, watch the skills of our drill teams, and enjoy the delightful large balloons.
Numerous volunteers will don character costumes that children will easily recognize from their favorite movies and television shows. These characters will interact with children along the parade route.
Of course, everyone loves the festive floats. However, the floats wouldn’t have anywhere to go without the assistance of vehicles being provided by City of Auburn Hills, City of Pontiac, Lee Industrial Contracting/Transportation of Pontiac, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, Waterford Township, and assistance from Fiore Enterprises.
In addition to the parade, the extravaganza includes a petting zoo, live Santa’s reindeer, face painters, balloon artists, photo opportunities with Michigan ice sculptures, Oakland Community College’s live ice carving competition, S’mores, free hot chocolate sites, and so much more within the Children’s WinterART Festival held at the Crofoot Ballroom.
The DIA Away: Think Like an Artist interactive classroom will once again be part of the Children’s WinterART Festival this year. This is a 53-foot double expandable trailer that travels to bring hands-on interactive art experiences to the community. Participants will discover some of the ways artists think and then have the opportunity to try out creative thinking skills at digital and hands-on stations. These activities run from 8:30-10:30 a.m. while the parade steps off at 11 a.m.
“This is going to be an exciting year, and we are honored to be one of the Presenting Sponsors. The Parade and Children’s WinterART Festival has grown over the years and certainly has become a tradition for so many families,” stated John Almstadt, Director of Workforce Development for Oakland County.
“Auburn Hills is proud to join this special tradition; bringing our neighboring communities together each year to ring in the holiday season is truly special. The Holiday Extravaganza Parade represents numerous partnerships and collaborations working together to create a wonderful experience for those who attend”, said Stephanie Carroll, Auburn Hills Manager of Business Development and Community Relations.
“Once again this year, Pontiac will share its unique and historic downtown with its neighboring communities for the Holiday Extravaganza Parade. Behind the scenes, there is a tremendous effort of volunteers who make this event possible each year. The magic of the season is reflected in the looks of excitement and wonder on the faces of the many children and families who line the route. I hope even more people will come and enjoy the Holiday Extravaganza 2015”, said Dr. Deirdre Waterman, Mayor City of Pontiac.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will delight children along the parade route. After the parade, children can visit Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Pontiac Public Library. While girls and boys share their holiday wishes with Santa, families can enjoy holiday treats.
After the parade has ended, viewers may continue to experience fantastic Holiday Extravaganza Parade memories by referring to their Local Network Channel for the schedule and frequency when the video of the parade will be repeatedly available for viewing.
“The community of Waterford Township is always so excited to be a part of the Holiday Extravaganza Parade,” stated Gary Wall, Waterford Township Supervisor. “What a wonderful, fun-filled family event. It’s also a great time when our four communities work together in making this event exactly what it is – lots of fun! And let’s not forget, we all get to see the big guy with the white beard and red suit along with his wife – Santa and Mrs. Claus. Happy Holidays!”
Also on display during the Holiday Extravaganza WinterFun Festival will be artwork from the Holiday Art Project, sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. This is a collection of artwork created by students from Pontiac High School. After the WinterFun Festival, the artwork will be placed in the storefronts of downtown Pontiac for the community to view throughout the holiday season until January 1st.
“It is even more evident today that all communities need to work together both economically and socially, to strengthen the greater Oakland County Area,” said Senator Mike Kowall, Michigan’s 15th State Senate District. Senator Mike Kowall and County Commissioner Eileen Kowall are pleased to host the S'mores booth (sponsored by Walmart of Commerce Township) at the corner of Saginaw and Huron once again this year. Please bring your family by to sample one of these tasty treats.
This event would not be possible without the support of many sponsors. The Presenting sponsors are Genisys Credit Union and Michigan Works of Oakland County. The Platinum sponsors include Advanced Disposal, CU Link-Michigan Credit Union Network, Lee Industrial Contracting, Oakland University, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, The Crofoot, The Oakland Press, and United Healthcare Services Inc. The Corporate sponsors include Dobrusin Law Firm, EGT Printing Solutions, Lamers Creative, McLaren Oakland, Media Network of Waterford, Ottawa Towers, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, Star EMS, The Parade Company, Ultimate Soccer Arena, and WRIF 101 FM. The Prime sponsors include 7North Saginaw, Adlers Towing, Michigan Legacy Credit Union, Baker College, Consumers Energy, CUNA Mutual Group, DASI Solutions, Erebus Haunted Attraction, First Student, Outfront Media, The Huttenlocher Group, ITC Holdings Corp., Oakland Community College, Main Street Oakland County, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Little Caesars, Mad Cow Custom Leather, Plante Moran, Sam’s Club, SMART Transportation, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and STI. The Supporting sponsors include Birmingham Bloomfield Credit Union, Clarkston State Bank, Detroit Edison, Easter Seals of Michigan, and Oddzin Ends.
For more information about Holiday Extravaganza activities, call the Holiday Extravaganza Santa hotline at (248) 858-8347 Ext. 5180 or visit www.holidayextravaganza.org.