The 2011 Chamber of Commerce Jingle Bell Parade will begin at 6 p.m. The parade will travel west on Franklin Avenue, beginning at Second Street to Harbor Drive, turn north on Harbor to Washington Avenue, then east on Washington to Central Park for the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree.
The Grand Haven Lions Club will be handing out 2,500 cans of chicken noodle soup, donated by Don Armstrong of Grand Haven, during the parade. Helping the club will be honor students from Grand Haven High School and Boy Scout Troop 246.
Grand marshal for this year’s parade is local businessman Steve Loftis. He was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce this year with its annual Spirit of Community Award. Among the many projects and events in the community he’s been involved in, Loftis was the driving force behind the creation of Grand Haven’s ArtWalk.
The tree lighting will include a carol sing with Santa and Mrs. Claus, led by Capt. Jay Davis of The Salvation Army, with accompaniment from the Prevailing Winds Community Band. The Salvation Army Canteen will offer hot chocolate and hot cider at the park.
Streets along the parade route will be closed beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday. Limited handicap parking will be available at the Michigan Commerce Bank parking lot on Fourth Street.
The corporate sponsor of the Jingle Bell Parade and Christmas in Central Park is Community Shores Bank. The Grand Haven Board of Light & Power sponsors the lights and decorations for the Central Park fountain.