Thousands welcome giant balloons, Santa to Akron
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Santa Claus
came to town Nov. 24, greeted by thousands who lined
South Main Street for the 21st annual Welcome Santa
Santa is shown below on his sleigh
as he waves to those who cheered his appearance. The
red suit was donned again this year by Ken Minrovic,
who is in his 18th year portraying the North Pole’s
most famous resident for the Akron parade.
While Santa was the star attraction,
four helium-filled balloons were a big draw for many
who came out to the parade this year. The first balloon
to make its way down the parade route was a dragon,
which is shown at right as volunteers maneuver it around
the traffic lights.
Other balloons in the parade
were a candy cane, Dino the Dinosaur and a reindeer.
The balloons were sponsored by the Lighter Than Air
Society in celebration of the group’s 55th year.
Also appearing in the parade
was Chemnitz, Germany’s Mayor Bourgemeister Detlef
Nonnen, who served as grand marshal.
Following the parade, many ventured
to Lock 3 Park for ice skating, music from the Lichtenstein
Tower Brass Band, food from German vendors and shopping
at the Chriskindl Market, which is in its fourth year.
For more information on all Downtown Akron holiday events,
go to www.holidayfest.org. For
more coverage of the parade, see
By Kathleen Folkerth
Photos: Ken Crisafi