Registration underway for Dowagiac’s Candlelight Christmas Parade

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

DOWAGIAC – The Dowagiac Candlelight Christmas Parade is returning to downtown Dowagiac this December, as one of the community’s time-honored holiday traditions lives on.

After a year’s absence due to the pandemic, officials of the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce announced this week the parade will return on Friday, Dec. 3.  The parade will step off at 7 p.m. on Main Street, as it circles the central business district on Front Street and Depot Drive.

Registration is now underway. Businesses, community groups, schools and churches may sign up for the parade by contacting the chamber of commerce at (269) 782-8212 or by email at

The Dowagiac Candlelight Christmas Parade, which is one of southwestern Michigan’s largest holiday events, is presented by Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital and the chamber of commerce.  It is part of a multi-event holiday celebration that also includes Christmas Open House Weekend, Small Business Saturday, a Thursday evening extended hours promotion in December and Breakfast with Santa, co-hosted by Dowagiac Elks Lodge.

Vickie Phillipson, chamber of commerce program director, said there is no charge to enter a float or marching unit in the parade.

“Participation is open to everyone, from church groups to school classes or even groups of neighbors, who would like to join the festivities,” she said. “Community groups that may not have the resources to construct a float, are encouraged to simply gather together and walk the parade route, caroling by candlelight. The fellowship of gathering together with friends and family to celebrate this joyous season is what the Christmas parade is all about.”

This year’s Christmas celebration is being underwritten by Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital, the Business Center of Southwest Michigan, Cass County Council on Aging, Clark Chapel / Starks Family Funeral Homes, Deck the Halls, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Dowagiac Credit Union, Dowagiac Family Dentistry, Imperial Furniture, John Vylonis, Matthew V. Cripe DDS, The Timbers of Cass County and Southwest Vision Center.