Called one of the best holiday events in the county, the 35th annual edition of the ever-popular Wellington Holiday Parade will be taking to the street on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m.
Hosted by the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Wellington, the theme for this year, “Holiday in Paradise,” will feature participants riding and walking the route starting at the corner of Wellington Trace and Forest Hill Blvd. It will continue along Forest Hill Blvd. to Ken Adams Way.
This year’s parade is special because not only is it the 35th year, but the longtime organizer of the parade, Dennis Witkowski, will serve as grand marshal as well.
“It was his brainchild to organize the parade in our communities,” Central Palm Beach County Chamber CEO Mary Lou Bedford said. “He has never missed a parade.”
Bedford thanked the many volunteers who make the parade go off like clockwork each year.
“All the people we work with have been with the parade for 10 or 20 years and more,” Bedford said. “They are real seasoned veterans and a great pleasure to work with.”
The parade is among the largest events in the western communities.
“It’s great because we encompass so many dignitaries from throughout the county,” Bedford said.
Bedford added that all parts of the community are represented.
“We try to get as many of the youth of the community involved as possible,” she said. “Every year, more school bands participate. This year, we have nine marching bands, including Park Vista High School, which is the best in the state.”
Bedford said that the history of the parade as a Wellington event is a nice aspect.
“Wellington Village Manager Paul Schofield told me that his son was in the first parade when he was six years old,” she said. “That was 35 years ago, and now his grandson, who is six, will be in this parade. That’s a nice continuity.”
To ensure a safe path for the expected 20,000-plus crowd, road closures will begin at 1 p.m. Food vendors, arts and crafts displays, face painting, games, photo opportunities and art exhibitions will begin at 10 a.m. at Holiday Park, located at the Wellington Amphitheater.
The Schumacher Family of Dealerships, a longtime supporter, will return as the automotive presenting sponsor. Community sponsors include Wellington Regional Medical Center, Waste Management, the Center for Bone & Joint Surgery of the Palm Beaches, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers Palm Beach.
Other sponsors include the Boynton Financial Group, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue, Republic Services, Print It Plus, Walgreens, TD Bank, Starbucks, the South Florida Fairgrounds, Wellington Golf Cars, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Mall at Wellington Green, Hill Audio Visual, Two Men and a Truck, the City of Greenacres, Primerica, Whole Foods Wellington, J.J. Muggs Stadium Grill and the Cleveland Clinic.
Media partners include: The Palm Beach Post, The Town-Crier, The Sun-Sentinel, Wellington The Magazine, Around Wellington, ESPN West Palm Beach, 97.9 WRMF and 900 AM the Talk of the Palm Beaches.
For more information about the Wellington Holiday Parade, visit the Central Palm Beach County Chamber web site at www.cpbchamber.com or call (561) 790-6200.