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Holiday Highlights

Music, colorful floats delight at Welcome Santa Parade

11/29/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Photos: Ken Crisafi
DOWNTOWN AKRON — With much fanfare, Akron’s Welcome Santa Parade helped the red-suited North Pole resident pay a visit as crowds lined South Main Street Nov. 24. Santa, played by Ken Minrovic for the 23rd year, is shown at right top on his float with a group of “reindeer.”

More than 70 units, from bands to costumed characters and floats, brought a festive atmosphere to South Main Street for the city’s 26th annual parade. Ken Babby, new owner of the Akron Aeros, was honored as Grand Marshal in the parade that marked the start of the holiday season in Akron.

The parade also featured the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Marching Band, shown at right lower middle, which captured first place in the Marching Band category.

Among the units that brought cheers from the crowd was the “Nutcracker” float by Ballet Theatre of Ohio, which is pictured at right upper middle. The float won second place in that category.

The Manchester Girl Scouts also won an award, taking second place in specialty units.

Parade spectators also enjoyed participants such as the Antique Ford Model A Club, whose lineup of classic cars is shown at right bottom.

Karen Lynch and Karen Hogan from the All-American Parade Judges Association served as judges for the parade, according to city officials.

— By Kathleen Folkerth

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