pushing to expand
Madison Christmas parade
seeks business sponsorships
to step up quality of event
(August 2012) Madison, Ind. revels in summer The
Regatta, Ribberfest, Chautauqua. If Aaron Kelsey has his way, Christmas
may become the next big draw.
Merrymakers head to Chicago for the window displays and New York
for the parade, so why cant they head to Madison? Kelsey
Kelsey is the fine arts instructor at Madison Consolidated High School
and has volunteered to organize this years Madison Christmas Parade.
He stepped up after the parade was canceled last year.
If local businesses and individuals join forces, Kelsey believes Madison
could create a Christmas parade that draws thousands for the show, and
then keeps them for the shopping.
This year, the Madison Christmas Parade is schedule to
begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The parade route runs along Main
Street from Jefferson to Mill streets. The parade features floats, bands
and characters sponsored by individuals, churches and businesses to
celebrate the spirit of Christmas.
I love Christmas. I love parades. This seemed a perfect combination,
He hopes to take the parade to a level that not only celebrates all
the community has known from past parades, but builds on that foundation
to offer new attractions.
The parade kicks off the holiday season, says Kelsey. We
want to kick it off in a way that draws everyone downtown.
He envisions bands, quality floats and character balloons combining
into more than simply a stream of entries but a cohesive show. Think
Macys parade in New York. Choirs, performers, and bands could
offer excerpts from plays and songs intermixed with well-crafted floats
into an event that rivals big city talent while keeping the small town
Kelsey hopes this vision will catch the attention of businesses, volunteer
organizations and industries in Madison so they step forward to sponsor
entries. The parade offers businesses the opportunity to get their
name before the community, says Kelsey. He hopes Main Street businesses
will also create store window displays to rival Chicago. Why cant
Madison be the draw for the region? he asks. If we become
the place known for an exciting parade, beautiful windows, and a vibrant
spirit; people will choose to spend their Christmas here.
Nathan Montoya, co-owner of Village Lights Bookstore, caught Kelseys
vision and couldnt wait to jump on board. He called Kelsey the
day after the new plan for the parade was announced to offer his participation.
Village Lights will sponsor a beloved, well-known character from childrens
books to greet children and adults alike during the parade.
This is a community event that requires the whole community business,
industry, individuals to get involved, Montoya said.
He notes that he and his wife, Anne Vestuto, invested everything they
had in opening a business in Madison because they love the community.
We plan to live and die here. If the community is going to move
forward, we need to support programs that benefit the community.
Montoya said he would like to see the parade involve so many people
from Madison that only outsiders are left to watch. He knows other businesses
are likewise planning their contributions to the parade and cant
wait to see the final result of everyones cooperation and enthusiasm.
The Madison Business and Professional Association organizes the parade
via the Main Street Program, a program dedicated to improving the economy
of Madison through supporting local business and industry. Montoya notes
that the association can organize events, but it will take the financial
backing of businesses for its efforts to bear fruit.
Kelsey said he would love businesses to sponsor professional floats
or licensed characters to elevate the quality of the parade. Kelsey
will make the job for those participating easier with a special workshop
on how to create quality floats along with information on where to purchase
materials in early fall.
The parade, already a Christmas tradition for many throughout the region,
offers the opportunity for locals and tourists alike to gather, enjoy
the beauty and fun of local talent, and then support the businesses
that make the parade possible.
To sponsor an entry, email Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact
Andrew Forrester at Madison City Hall at (812) 265-8300 for a copy of
the entry form.
Back to August 2012 Articles.