PERRYSBURG — The Home for the Holidays Parade steps off on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Louisiana Avenue — but don’t miss all the other activities that are planned around it.
It will be led by Grand Marshals Richard Baranowski, Gary Franks and Mark Weber. Each are local area authors with books currently out on the history of the city.
“Right now, it looks really good for us on Sunday,” event coordinator and O-Deer Diner owner Rick Ruffner said. “We call it a festival, because it really is more of a day of festivities, than just a parade. The excitement begins with Santa at the letter writing station. You really get a return letter, as long as your return address is on it.”
The parade is expected to last around 50 minutes. Rick said that Dana, his wife, already has 60 groups included.
Ruffner said the parade starts at East Seventh and Elm streets, proceeds to Louisiana and heads downtown. It turns on Front Street and heads back to Elm Street and finishes at Kazmaier’s Market on the corner of East Second and Elm streets.
The free festivities and snacks will begin at noon and continue until the start of the parade. The pre-parade activities form an easy walking tour of downtown businesses along Louisiana Avenue that will be hosting fun events for the family.
“After you get your free picture with Santa, you walk out the door and on the sidewalk is the letter writing station to Santa Claus. And the big mailbox will be there and we give out free chocolate covered pretzels at the ice cream store,” Ruffner said.
Santa is being hosted by parade sponsor Taylor Automotive Family at O-Deer Diner, 416 Louisiana Ave.
Johnny Rodriguez will be singing holiday tunes on the lawn of the Commodore Building. There will be a craft station at Julie Spann State Farm Insurance, strolling carolers and a bean bag toss for Marsha’s Buckeyes.
On Second Street and Louisiana there will be the pickup point for a trackless train ride.
A wide array of various merchants will have treats. There will be cookies at Perrysburgers and cider and donuts at Skotynsky Financial. Poppin’ George’s Kettle Corn will be giving out kettle corn and hot cider and coffee cake at Swig.
To have a group included in the parade, Ruffner asks that an application be filled out through the Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.VisitPerrysburg.com. The official deadline has been extended because of the number of early requests Ruffner has fielded.
“I don’t want anybody who wants to be in the parade to not make it,” Ruffner said. “All I care about is putting on a good event for the community. My wife and I are glad to do it.”