Barbara Acker leads the parade

By Amy Donner….

Elves greeting Santa

Chant with me…. Barbara Acker, Barbara Acker, Barbara Acker.
On behalf of all elf lovers in South Miami and beyond, we thank you for single handedly producing the best Santa’s Parade of Elves ever. More than 2,000 children dressed as elves, 80-plus acts, five staging areas and heavenly weather made for a picture perfect SoMi day. Barbara, the entire community knows that without your commitment this year and during the past two decades, we would not have had this cherished parade.

The Red Sunset Merchants Association added to the fun by hosting the first ever Santa’s Elf Parade “After Party.” The party took place in the First National Bank of South Miami parking lot and included free food donated by Town Kitchen & Bar, a three piece classic rock band and a bounce house donated by Footworks. We are lucky to have such generous and community minded merchants in our town.

During the parade, my thoughts wandered to the last line in my favorite Christmas story, The Polar Express. “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” My bet is that Barbara Acker can hear the bell.

Amy Donner is the President of The Red Sunset Merchants Association a 90 member, not-for-profit business association with a mission to foster the economic interest of the area around Red Road and Sunset Drive. Amy can be reached at

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