Rockford prepares to welcome Santa, parade

A decided chill is in the air and all good boys and girls are getting excited for the big day. But Rockford is even more blessed than other cities! Santa Claus has agreed to stop and visit before Christmas!

The jolly man in the red suit will be making an appearance in the Chamber’s 69th Annual Santa Parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The parade winds through downtown Rockford and will feature plenty of Boy and Girl Scouts, floats, candy, music and the big man himself. The parade banner is sponsored this year by Pizza Hut.

“I have always loved Rockford,” said Santa in a recent interview. “It is a beautiful downtown district with friendly merchants. But more importantly at this time of year, there are plenty of good girls and boys to be found in the houses of Rockford. It is always a delight to visit and find out what is on their wish list prior to the elves getting to work.”

Following the parade, Santa will find a nice comfortable chair at the Rotary Pavilion and listen to the children’s lists, giving them a gift bag when they are finished. Also, there will be free milk and cookies, compliments of Country Fresh and Arnie’s Bakery, a choir singing carols, children’s activities and snowflake artist Georgia Donovan. Macatawa Bank will be providing free pictures again as the photo sponsor. ReMax United, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Morris Builders contributed as sponsors of the Pavilion activities.


Complimentary Trolley Rides, sponsored by Young Insurance, will be provided immediately after the parade and will continue until 2 p.m. Rider pick up and drop off are in front of the Rotary Pavilion.


Santa will return on Dec. 12 and 19 from 6-8 p.m. to the Rotary Pavilion for children to let him know their wish lists – and for parents who want to miss the crowds and bustle of the malls. Both nights will feature free hot cocoa and cookies, compliments of Family Fare Supermarket. On Dec. 19 Santa will also be bringing his live reindeer so that the kids can see how he powers his sleigh on Christmas Eve!


The Chamber and HEART have joined to bring an extra two days of free carriage rides this holiday season. Grand Carriages, LLC, was again hired to drive visitors around the lovely tree-lined streets of downtown Rockford. Loading is located in front of Custard by the Dam, 25 S. Squires St., and there is no prior registration. They do take names and give you an estimated wait time the night of the rides, however, so people can shop as they wait for their turn. The free carriage rides are from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 & 7, 13 & 14 and 20 & 21.


For more information about Chamber events, please go to


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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.