Annual Santa Parade to coincide with food drive

Bridget Janis, Staff Reporter

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The 43rd Annual Macomb County Santa Parade will be taking place on Saturday Nov. 17 starting at 10 a.m., with registration opening at 8 a.m. This will be Oakland University’s seventh year as a sponsor and it is predicted to have one of the largest parade groups.

The parade is put on by the City of Mount Clemens and has about 150 entries planning to walk in the parade, from floats to fire trucks to marching bands the parade has something for everyone to enjoy.

“Macomb outreach is all about being involved in our community and making sure we can spread awareness of our location and community support throughout Macomb County,” Oakland University community engagement intern Rebecca Robbins said. “By being in this parade, we represent OU in Macomb. It’s an easy way for our students, staff, alumni and faculty to participate within their community.”

Members of the OU community can register for the parade at oakland.edu/macomb. The first 300 participants to register will receive a free sweatshirt.

“We have been participating since 2012, every year we’ve grown bigger and bigger,” Robbins said. “Last year, we had 300 people walking, this year we want to cap off at 300 again.”

In addition to the parade, the City of Mount Clemens will be having the Third Annual Community-Wide Food Drive. Participants are encouraged to bring and drop off non-perishables and canned food. Robbins said they wanted to “incorporate a food drive that is larger than ever done before.”

“OU has had presence in downtown Mount Clemens since 2011, when we opened the doors to the Anton/Frankel Center, supporting not only the city of Mount Clemens, but also Macomb County is really important to us,” said Executive Director of OU Macomb County Outreach Julie Dichel. “We thought the parade was a great way to tie in a community need and get all the students, faculty and OU community involved in supporting the Macomb Food Program.”

Last year, the Macomb Food Drive passed their goal of 1,000 lbs. and collected 1,175 lbs. This year, the goal is set at 3,000 lbs. of canned food. The program will be accepting donations Nov. 1 – Nov. 17, but they expect most donations to be made the day of the parade.

“Because of weather, the Macomb Food Program is very far down on their typical amount of food that they have,” Robbins said. “When you do donate, it’s going to an amazing cause. It’s feeding Macomb County residents.”

Donations can be made at the OU Anton/Frankel Center, Macomb University Center and local Mount Clemens establishments. Prizes for registered participants donating canned food on the day of the parade are as follows: Grizz gloves (5–9 items), a Grizz beanie (10–14 items) and an OU rugby scarf (15–19 items). Participants who donate 20 or more items will win all three prizes.

“All of the food donated gets distributed to more than 50 shelters within Macomb County,” Dichtel said. “OU doesn’t only have a strong presence here in Macomb County, but we’re also being able to help residents.”