Santa’s Parade of Elves will march down Sunset Drive in South Miami for the 28th year on Sunday, December 5th at 2 p.m. Despite having no budget for this year’s parade, South Miami resident Barbara Acker, who has organized the event for 21 years, has volunteered her time, obtained generous sponsors and said “the parade will go on.”
“I’m doing this for the children,” said Acker. “This beloved event has been a tradition for 28 years, so when word got out that the parade may not happen; I received distressed calls from Brownie and Girl Scout troop leaders whose girls were already working on their costumes. I thought… this parade has to happen.”
And, so it is. This year’s lead elf will be Sol Gorrin, who works in the Finance Department at South Miami City Hall and participated in the parade as a Cobra Charmer when she attended South Miami High School.
Santa Claus will make his grand appearance on the First National Bank of South Miami float and South Miami Hospital and Red Sunset Merchants Association will also have floats in the parade.
“The little parade that could” will feature Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisies dressed in delightful holiday costumes. Music will fill the air of SoMi as bands from Mays Middle School in Homestead, led by Arthur Scavella, South Miami High School, led by Jennifer Jimenez, Charles Drew Middle School, led by Reginald White, and School of Rock, led by Neno Mironti, make their way on the parade route.
The bagpipes and tartan plaid of the St. Andrews Pipe Band are always a parade favorite and their appearance has been generously sponsored by The Irish Times.
Fusion Dance Troupe from John A. Ferguson High School will be dancin’ in the street along with 75 – 80 dancers from Jill Mallory Dance Studio, led by director Kim Brokaw.
“Dancers from Jill Mallory have been performing in the parade for 12 years,” said Acker. “They will also be performing after the parade at Sunset Drive and 57 Court.”
Although the Grinch did not steal Christmas this year, he will make his annual appearance with the FL2-E Gold Wing Road Riders as they rumble down Sunset Drive.
Auto enthusiasts will enjoy the stunning cars from Magic City Mustang Car Club, Sunshine Corvette Club, Palmetto Bugs VW Club and South Florida “Z” Car Club. A different kind of horsepower will impress parade watchers when the South Florida Trail Riders trot on by.
The event will feature Ronald McDonald, Florida Marlins, Super Wheels skate car, South Miami and Miami-Dade Police Honor Guard and a Miami-Dade fire truck.
“This parade is attended by 6,000 – 7,000 people and showcases our beautiful downtown South Miami and its restaurants, shops and businesses. It’s a really important tradition for our community,” said Acker, who is looking forward to enjoying the parade through her grandson’s eyes. “Last year, Camron was too young to understand. This year, he’ll be 21 months old, so he will really get it. His smile will make it all worthwhile.”