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Mike Riehls
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Firetrucks old and new made their way screaming down the parade route. Soothing sounds from several bands helped the ears recover. photo by Renee Landuyt.

November 29, 2012
By Brad Lindberg

Staff Writer

THE GROSSE POINTES — Santa Claus and his flying reindeer rode a cold front into town the day after Thanksgiving, a couple of hours before the first flurries of the season.

They capped the hour-long Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade on Friday morning, Nov. 23.

Santa, waving from his sleigh, swooping down Kercheval. Rudolph in the lead, his nose blinking with the intensity of an aircraft navigation beacon.

Thousands of people lining the avenue saw mounted police, fire trucks, marching bands, floats and community groups scroll into the Village, downtown City of Grosse Pointe.

Debuting was the Friends of the Grosse Pointe Parade's latest float, the White Christmas carriage.

"The crowds have been bigger than ever," said City Mayor Dale Scrace.

On behalf of the mayors of the other Pointes and Harper Woods, Scrace awarded St. Nick the key to the community.

"How many of you are on Santa's good list?," Santa teased the crowd.

Most children were too well mannered to brag.

"You're being bashful," Santa told them. "The elves tell Santa there's an awful lot of good, nice people."

Knowing the economic pressures merchants are facing during the continued downturn, Scrace asked gift-buyers to shop local merchants.

"Shop in the Village. Shop in the Woods. Shop in the Farms, Shop in the Park and shop in Harper Woods," he said.

This is the last year the parade is produced by the Grosse Pointe Village Association.

"They're passing the baton to the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce," Scrace said.

"I think the parade went beautifully," said Terri Berschback, in her 10th year as parade director. "A little windy, but we had a really good crowd."

Firestone 1
Whistle Stop 2
GP Theatre Les Mis 3
Village Food Market-Left Bottom
Backer Right