Dowagiac Candlelight Parade steps off Friday

Published 10:54 am Monday, November 29, 2021

DOWAGIAC –  Much like the setting of a Dickens’ novel, one of southwestern Michigan’s largest Christmas parades is sure to transform Dowagiac, with its turn-of-the-century storefronts, into a storybook-like setting, as this community’s holiday procession takes to the streets at 7 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 3.

The Dowagiac Candle-light Christmas Parade is presented by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital.

Holiday festivities Friday kick-off at 6:30 p.m. downtown, where three choirs will perform until the parade steps off at 7 p.m. Dowagiac Union High School Choir will perform in front of City Hall at Main and Front streets. Southwestern Michigan College Select Voices will perform at Front and Commercial streets, with the United Methodist Choir performing at Front and Beeson streets.

Providing background music for the grand procession will be Lincoln Clark, director of the Performing Arts Center at Dowagiac Middle School.

Corporate sponsors of the holiday celebration include: 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, Southwest Vision Center, The Baker’s Rhapsody and The Timbers of Cass County.

According to Vickie Phillipson, chamber of commerce program director, in order to maintain a safe environment for the public and for parade participants, the police will close Front Street to through traffic and on-site parking on parade day beginning at 4 p.m.

“In doing so, there will be no on-street parking for the Dec. 3 parade, which will allow adequate room for families to safely watch the event, without the fear of parade units coming too close to the crowd,” Phillipson said.

Known as one of southwestern Michigan’s largest lighted parades, Dowagiac’s holiday procession is part of this community’s four-part Christmas Celebration, which also included the Nov. 12 & 13 Open House Weekend, Small Business Saturday and the upcoming Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Elks Lodge.

Appearing in this year’s parade will be:  Aaron’s Sales & Leasing, Ackerman Family, Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital, Ausra Equipment, Ausra Farms, B&J Ranch, Barry’s Automotive, Chad Burger transporting Santa and winners of the Children’s Gift Basket Drawing, The Beach Boys & More, Brookside Farms, C&M Plowing, Cass County Road Commission, Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Cass County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit, Cass County Toys for Tots, Cass County Tractor Pullers, Cassopolis Ranger Marching Band, Dave Gillespie with the City of Dowagiac, Creative Kids 4-H Club and Creative Vinyl Signs.

Also appearing in the parade will be: Deals on Wheels, Dowagiac Eagles, Dowagiac Fire Department, Dowagiac Police Chief, Dowagiac Police K-9 Unit, Dowagiac Union High School Marching Band, Edgewater Farms, Anna Eubank, Feed the Hungry, First Orchards, For the Love of Health, Four Flags Area Apple Festival, 4-W 4-H Club, Grandma & Grandpa Built a Float, Hidden Acres, Indian Lake Fire Department, JAC Custom Pouches and Janel’s Industries.

Parade units also include: Mayor Don Lyons, Micah’s Walk, Michigan State Police, Michigan’s Miss Agriculture USA Shaelyn Bundy, Miss Hartford Second Runner-up, Miss Michele & Co., Miss Niles Court of Honor, Myers’ Forklift, North Red Hill 4-H, North Wayne Mennonite Church, Old Boys Toys, Pokagon Band Ogitchedaw, Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Positively Dance, Pride Care Ambulance and Prosecutor Victor Fitz.

Also appearing in the parade will be: Sandy & Rachel’s Medical Massage Therapy, Sister Lakes Fire Department, Southwestern Michigan College, Southwestern Michigan College Bands, True’s Towing & Recovery, Twistee’s, Trent Wallace Tractor, Wayne Township Fire Department, Richard Veit portraying Abe Lincoln and Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co.