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santa claims amtrak ride to mc

Monday, December 04, 2017 16:43 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

It was very much a hometown welcoming of Santa Claus into Michigan City with a heavily attended downtown parade Saturday followed carolling led by the high school choir around a live evergreen tree dressed in lights.,

Marci Jacobs beside her 9-year old grandson, Jackson, said it reminded her of the parades from her childhood here.

''It's pretty special,'' she said.

The kick-off to the holiday season here returned to Franklin St. last year following a push to move it back from the lakefront where the parade never seemed to really catch on.

''Big turn out and a beautiful day,'' Jacobs said.

There was plenty of daylight when the 4 p.m. parade began moving north from 10th St.

It was totally dark when Santa waving to the crowd from the top of a fire truck with its flashing lights activated neared the end of the route outside the public library for the lighting of the tree and carolling to traditional Christmas songs like ''Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.''

Santa was then given a ride to his chalet at 7th and Franklin streets to visit with dozens of children and their parents waiting in line..

Santa said it was so warm he had to park his reindeer in northern Michigan then take the Amtrak to Michigan City.
''The kids seemed to love it so I love it,'' said Michigan City resident Brandi Howard, who brought her three children and niece to the parade.

The regional champion Michigan City High School football team and Indiana Extreme Elite, an independent group of national champion youth cheerleaders ages 5 to 18 from Michigan City, were among the units in the parade.

''Lots and lots of practice and training,'' said head cheerleading coach Angela Colalillo on the key to her group's success.

Other parade highlights included postal carriers like Brittney Muray from the Michigan City Post Office collecting letters to Santa from kids on both sides of the route and characters like Rudolph, Frosty The Snowman, Elmo and Dora The Explorer giving hugs and high-fives to the children and taking pictures with their families.

Among the dignitaries passing out candy was LaPorte County Prosecutor John Espar and his wife, Yolla, who was dressed as a Christmas tree.

''What a great time. It doesn't get any better than this,'' he said.

For the second consecutive year, Kathy Johnson brought her children Delaney, 10, Kiley, 7, and Maribell, 2, from Chicago.

''I love all of the lights and people dressed up. I think it's fantastic,'' Johnson said.