The Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade — seen here in 2021 — will once again delight attendees of all ages with floats, marching bands, community groups and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. It will make its way along Kercheval Avenue the morning of Nov. 25.

The Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade — seen here in 2021 — will once again delight attendees of all ages with floats, marching bands, community groups and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. It will make its way along Kercheval Avenue the morning of Nov. 25.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Santa and more in store before and after this year’s parade

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 15, 2022


GROSSE POINTE CITY/FARMS — Santa Claus will once again be making his way down Kercheval Avenue to greet all the good little boys and girls in the community.

The Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade will take place in the Hill and the Village the morning of Nov. 25.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. Nov. 25 at Lewiston Road and Kercheval Avenue in Grosse Pointe Farms, making its way a little over a mile to Kercheval and Cadieux Road in Grosse Pointe City. It takes place, as is traditionally the case, the day after Thanksgiving.

“Rain or shine, bundle up, bring your blankets, folding chairs and be ready for the parade of your life!” Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce President and Executive Director Jennifer Palms Boettcher said in an email interview.

A number of marching bands will be performing. As of press time, they included the bands from Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South high schools, Chandler Park Academy High School, Detroit School of Arts, Ecorse High School and Fitzgerald High School. In addition, the Detroit Highlanders Bagpipe Band will participate.

“It is so exciting,” Grosse Pointe City Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak said. “I understand the (Grosse Pointe) Chamber (of Commerce) has some really special surprises in store.”

Palms Boettcher said a number of community groups will be performing in, or marching along, the parade route, including South’s Blue Devils Dance Team, University Liggett School’s dance team, Golden Retriever Rescue of Michigan, Eastside Westies, students from Kercheval Dance, Grosse Pointe Community Chorus, Red Barons team members and local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

The theme of this year’s parade is Christmas in Toyland.

“The dance groups, school groups, floats and animal groups will be dressed in Toyland costumes,” Palms Boettcher said. “The Chamber is also having a Toyland scavenger hunt amongst the businesses to increase the foot traffic throughout the holiday season and encourage folks to shop and dine locally to support our small businesses. The scavenger hunt will start on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) and run through December 18th.  Maps can be found at the Chamber office — 106 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms or by visiting”

Other highlights to watch for, said Palms Boettcher, include appearances by the Budweiser Clydesdales, Redford Unicycle Club, members of the Parade Company’s Big Heads group in their famous papier-mâché heads, Metro Detroit Ghostbusters and costumed princesses.

“The Budweiser Clydesdales will be leading Santa and Mrs. Claus in the horse-drawn carriage,” Palms Boettcher said. “The Chamber is having the Parade Company build a sleigh just for Santa after the holiday season. If anyone wants to help support Santa’s sleigh, donations can be made to the (nonprofit Grosse Pointe) Chamber Foundation. … In 2023, Santa will be coming to town in style!”

The GPCC has been organizing the parade since 2012.

This will mark the 46th annual Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade; it would have been the 47th, but the event was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parade will be preceded by the Grosse Pointe Lions Club’s 23rd annual Jingle Bell Family Fun 2.2 mile Walk/Run, which will start at 9 a.m. on the parade route. Registration and packet pickup will start at 8 a.m. For more information or to register for the run/walk, visit the Grosse Pointe Lions Club Facebook page.

To entertain paradegoers — who line up early along the route to get a good viewing spot — The Village will be having entertainment and other offerings before and after the parade. Main Street Grosse Pointe Executive Director Cindy Willcock said the band, The Boys of Summer, will perform in Kressbach Place from 9 a.m. until roughly 10:30 a.m., when the parade will start to make its way into The Village, and again after the parade. The acoustic duo Uncle Brown and ME will perform, as well. From 9 a.m. to noon, Willcock said, there will be a pop-up tent at Kercheval and St. Clair avenues serving baked goods and beverages.

Following the parade, Willcock said, Santa will be heading to his workshop inside the former Calico Corners store at Kercheval and St. Clair, where there will be activities for children.

“We’re excited about that,” Willcock said.

The social district hours will be extended on parade day, running from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., allowing people to consume and carry alcoholic beverages that are served by participating restaurants in special cups in approved outdoor areas. The social district does not allow people to bring in their own alcohol for consumption.

The idea is to encourage paradegoers to remain in The Village after the parade to dine and shop.

“We know and all love the Santa Claus Parade,” Willcock said. “It brings thousands of people to The Village, (but they) then leave immediately after.”

Comfortable attire is a must, as is dressing for the weather.

For more information or to make a donation to the Grosse Pointe Chamber Foundation, contact the GPCC at (313) 881-4722 or visit