The entry process is beginning for the 2021 Kalamazoo Holiday Parade. The application is posted here.

The big change this year is the long-time sponsor of the parade, Maple Hill Auto Group, is now the owner and organizer of the parade. That being said, much of the parade's set up and execution is still the same. The parade will be at 11am on Saturday, November 20th. The downtown Kalamazoo parade route will remain the same, too. One difference is this year there will be two prizes for best entry, from a non-profit and from a business.

Maple Hill Auto Group owner Jim Vandenberg is calling all participants to help make this year's parade a success. Vandenberg, using as an example, a three-legged stool, notes one leg is the entertainment, the participants marching in the parade. But he also says the other two legs, the sponsors and downtown merchants are also critical to the success of this year's parade. The sponsors for the financial sustainability of the parade, and the downtown restaurants and merchants to have events for after the parade. Some of that is already in the works, with planned scavenger hunts, shopping events, and family outdoor activities.

As for the parade itself, the organizers say "the parade will feature marching bands, giant balloons (helium and cold air)" and of course, the participating floats. As mentioned above, the "parade application process is online and allows you to go back in and change elements of the application. Organizers remind those participating "remember, you are the entertainment." Following up that reminder with "that means that you need to make sure that your unit is decorated, the people walking in the parade are in some type of a costume or uniform (matching sweatshirts and hats/scarves is a uniform), and that the decorations are more than a wreath stuck on the hood. The key word is entertainment." Organizer say with the interactive application process, they will also be offering instruction on things like dressing up a float and ideas on costuming.

The only hard and fast rule is there is only one Santa Claus.

The parade entry deadline is October 31st.

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