This Saturday, November 17th, the Harper Creek Optimist Club's 39th Annual Christmas Parade steps off in downtown Battle Creek.  The 2018 parade theme is “Parade of Trees” .   The parade kicks-off at 5:45 pm. on West Michigan Avenue at Washington Street and ends just east of Capital Avenue at Mill Race Park.  The parade coincides with the "Winter Festival."

Due to the closure of a portion of Michigan Avenue for the Heritage Tower project the parade will take a slight detour around this block.   It will turn off Michigan on McCamly and then east on Jackson Street until Capital Avenue and then traverse north until rejoining the old route on East Michigan Avenue.

The 39th Annual Christmas Parade will have approximately 75 entries ranging from floats, walking units, bands, and motorized units of all descriptions, replete with a combination of decorations, lights and music will participate. The 7,000+  foot parade line-up is designed by the Optimist  Club  Parade Committee  approximately  4-weeks prior  to the  event  and  over  30 club members’ stage and deliver it to the public on parade night.

The Parade Grand Marshall’s for 2018 is Fred Lutzke. Fred is best known as the owner of the former “Wattles Park Pharmacy” on East Michigan, but his passion in retirement is truly rewarding.  Fred re-opened his former pharmacy in 2014 as the “Love Thy Neighbor Ministries and Food Pantry”.  His building is used for Bible study groups, but mostly as the Neighborhood Food Pantry.  Lutzke’s passion for service garnered Fred a George award in 2016.   Fred is a long-time member of the Harper Creek Optimist Club and is a devoted member of the flock at Friends Church.   Fred has been a tremendous role model and light in the Battle Creek community, inspiring others to serve and providing many opportunities for service said one of the Bible Study Groups he hosts at his building.

Fred Lutzke-provided
Fred Lutzke-provided

The Harper Creek Optimist Club has been the primary producers of the parade since 1980.   The club would also like to thank Happy House Gift Shop for their ongoing support of the parade and assistance in the pre-parade communications.

AccessVision will air the parade “live” from in front of its location at 70 West Michigan Avenue on Comcast Cable Channels 17 & 917, and on AT&T U-verse channel 99.  In order for AT&T customers to watch the parade, they need to select “channel 99”, click on “Battle Creek Area – AccessVision”, then select “AccessVision 17” and select “OK”. The Christmas Parade will also be “streamed live” over the internet 

The  parade always  features  a visit  from  Santa and  Mrs. Claus  to the  delight the  children  who line the  parade route.    Santa and  Mrs. Claus are made possible by David M.  Smith, Independent  Insurance  Agent.

For more information regarding the parade visit their website.

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