Mason Parade Offers New Route
Mason’s 13th annual lighted parade on the evening of Friday, November 29 will have a new route this year.
Mason’s 13th annual lighted parade on the evening of Friday, November 29 will have a new route this year. The parade steps off at 6:30 p.m., but for the first time ever from Bond Park, just a few blocks from Mason’s downtown. From there it goes south one block on Barnes, west on Sycamore, and then south on Jefferson. The parade then circles the Ingham County Courthouse by turning left on Ash, Barnes and Maple Street before ending in the 100 block of east Maple. Street-legal units are encouraged to continue east on Ash to go out to the Ingham County Fairgrounds for their Winter Fest events.
For the first year, the Ingham County Fair Foundation and the Ingham County Fairgrounds will host a “Winter Fest” at the fairgrounds, 700 E. Ash Street in Mason. Starting at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 29, the event will feature a craft show, family make-and-takes, Christmas tree auction conducted by Sheridan Realty & Auction, food, and beverages -- all in the heated main arena building. A shuttle bus will travel back-and-forth on a regular schedule between the Fairgrounds and the downtown throughout the evening.
The fairgrounds fun continues until 9:00 p.m. with Elliot Amusements carnival rides, the Mason Orchestral Society’s chamber ensemble, and lighted hay rides. There will be free parking and admission for the Winter Fest event. Donation stations will be set up in main arena for Toys for Tots and the Capital Area Community Services’ Mason Food Bank. Special “Holidays Celebration” fireworks will begin at 8:45 p.m. in front of the grandstand.
For many years, Dart Container Corporation has been the presenting sponsor of the parade and Mason Holiday Celebration. “We also thank the City of Mason for allowing us to start the parade in the Bond Park parking lot this year,” said Aleasha Wood. Last year, the parade featured over 40 units, including a float of the Mackinac Bridge from Dart Container.
“The City of Mason is an important partner. They help by closing streets and providing traffic coordination. We are again responding to their requirement for improved public safety this year by letting parade participants know that they are not to throw candy or get on or off any unit that is in motion,” Aleasha Wood added.
Lighted parade units will represent many area groups and businesses and include Dart Container Corporation, Mason Fire Department, CADL, Two Men and a Truck, Independent Bank, CP Federal Credit Union, R&R Travel, Habitat for Humanity, BlueGrass Lawn & Landscape, Mason Auto Body Repair, Mason Rotary Club, Showtime Rentals, Ingham County Animal Control, Mason Public Schools, Girl Scouts - Heart of Michigan, ServiceMaster, TomCo Asphalt, Granger, and many more lighted vehicles and floats. Members of Mason’s American Legion Browne/Cavender Post 148 will be on hand to keep the parade organized. Mason RailTime Adventures will also have their kiddie rides and games at the corner of Barnes and Ash before and during the parade.
This year the traditional Christmas tree lighting will once again be with the “Big Tree” in front of the Ingham County Courthouse starting at 6:00 p.m. Thanks to BlueGrass Lawn & Landscape and Express Tree Service, new LED light strings were purchased and installed on the tree. Net proceeds of the annual Mason Area Chamber of Commerce Raffle (ML#R21540) went toward partially funding those costs.
Jenny Bond of the Mason Rotary Club is the 2013 Mason Citizen of the Year. She will officially give the order to light the Christmas tree on the west side of Courthouse Square right before 6:30 p.m. Also, earlier in the evening starting at 6:00 p.m., in the downtown near the tree, will be a welcome message by the City of Mason Mayor Leon Clark, music from the Mason High School Santa Band, and more.
The United States Marines will have a “Toys for Tots” collection station near the Big Santa at Courthouse Square during the afternoon and evening. Food and warm drinks will be available on the square from Mason A&W Restaurant, Mason Optimist Club and several downtown businesses. The Mason First United Methodist Church at 201 E. Ash Street will have hot chocolate and sweet treats starting at 6:30 p.m.
Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Mason Area Historical Museum for younger children. They will then join the parade and meet up afterward with Mason Area Historical Society members who will take them back over to the Museum at 200 E. Oak Street to meet with older children and families.
Information on all events is available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (517) 676-1046. For the most recent information, click on “Community Events” at www.masonchamber.org or tune in to Channel 21 on Mason’s WOW! cable system.