The Art Van Santa Parade in Grand Rapids on Saturday was a big success with thousands in attendance and seasonally perfect weather.

Ask anyone who was at the parade last weekend and you're likely to get a few different ideas for what qualifies as a highlight of the day. Here are a few of the most memorable moments for me.


I'm not one to wish for cold weather and snow, but I do accept it as a fact of life living in West Michigan. I appreciate the changing seasons, it's just that I'm not in a rush for winter to arrive. Holding the Santa parade the week before Thanksgiving opens up all kinds of possibilities as far as the weather is concerned.

Saturday brought us our first measurable snow making it a perfect day for the parade.

I liked the snow, however, I do regret making the rookie mistake of wearing running shoes to the parade. I forgot how cold weather works. My boots have since been taken out of storage.


Don't underestimate the ability of Anna and Elsa to upstage Santa at his own parade. It's been a couple of years since we've first met the pair, but many love them more than ever.

Traditionally crowds watch parades from the side of the street and wave, but that all changes if a little girl loves Anna & Elsa so much that she can't contain herself and must run out to greet them.

A brief moment, but an unforgettable one for her.


The snow was nice, but after standing outdoors in it for over an hour you began to envy those walking in the parade since they could keep moving to stay warm. But there were some you didn't envy, the musicians.

Even with a pair of gloves the cold started to get to your fingers after a while, but Matt Giraud kept riding through singing and playing the keyboard, and many high school bands did the same while playing drums, tubas and everything else.

Watching the parade with a pair of gloves was cold enough, but dozens managed to go without gloves and then somehow get their fingers to move enough to play a musical instrument.

Well done, parade musicians.


Red trucks are among the highlights of many parades, but the particular red truck I remember is pure Grand Rapids. No parade in Grand Rapids seems complete without an appearance by our most famous royalty. Of course, I'm referring to the Pulaski Queen.

The float had a red banner while the Pulaski Queen wore a red dress and rode in a red truck. The attention to detail did not go unnoticed.

Know any good Christmas polkas?