PIQUA — Mainstreet Piqua will host the annual Downtown Piqua Holiday Parade starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. This year’s parade theme is “A Snoopy Kind of Christmas.”
“This year marks the 100th birthday of Charles Shultz, who was the creator of the Peanuts comic strip,” Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher said, “So, we thought it would be appropriate to have a Snoopy theme.”
“Quite a few of the organizations are jumping on that,” Swisher said. “They will be embracing that as they decorate their floats.”
The parade is a family-friendly event featuring bands, drill teams, floats, antique cars, fire departments, youth groups, churches, clubs and civic organizations.
“We’re there for the children, and to let people know it’s all about the kids and the holiday spirit,” said John Emrick of the Piqua-based group Bikers for Benefits. “The Bikers for Benefits are there every year.”
The group’s members ride or walk in the parade, passing out stuffed animals and stockings full of candy to children along the parade route.
“We have 80-100 motorcycles and walkers,” Emrick said. “Last year we passed out 2,700 items.”
Mainstreet Piqua has been hosting the Downtown Piqua Holiday Parade for approximately 50 years, Swisher said.
“It’s been a really long time,” she said. “We used to do it on Thanksgiving weekend.”
Piqua will honor Susanne Pummill as the grand marshal of the downtown Piqua Holiday Parade when it rolls down Main Street this Saturday. Pummill has been an active member of The Salvation Army in Piqua for 37 years. She started helping with the Summer Lunch program in 2002 and took over leadership as the cook in 2004. This past summer alone, Pummill gave 490 hours of volunteer service for the program cooking 12,279 meals, according to a Mainstreet Piqua press release. Major Angie Carter describes Pummill as “an amazing woman with a heart to serve.”
“We love recognizing individuals whose good work and faithful service to the Piqua community generally go unnoticed and unrecognized,” said Swisher in the release. “Susanne definitely falls into that category.” Pummill will be riding in the Salvation Army canteen truck at the beginning of Saturday’s parade.
The Downtown Piqua Holiday Parade is part of the Holiday Experiences in Piqua weekend that also includes Christmas on the Green from 6 to 9 p.m on Friday, Dec. 2. Christmas on the Green will feature carriage rides, live entertainment, live reindeer, children’s activities and food.
“The Piqua High School show Choir will be performing at 7 p.m. in the gazebo,” Swisher said of Christmas on the Green. “That will be immediately followed by community caroling, which is the centerpiece of the Christmas on the Green.”
Downtown Piqua will also host the Downtown Piqua Holiday Open House on Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3. The Downtown Piqua Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday afternoon, and the Holly Jolly 5K/10K run will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Sponsors for the Downtown Holiday Parade include Mainstreet Piqua, McVety Realty, Barclay’s in downtown Piqua, Premier Health/Upper Valley Medical Center and Thrivent Western Ohio Group.