The holiday spirit starts in South Miami on Sunday, December 7, when the 32nd Annual Santa’s Parade of the Elves kicks off at 2 pm and makes its way down Sunset Drive through the South Miami Town Center from City Hall to the business and dining district and wrapping around to Red Road.
A holiday tradition for over three decades, thousands line Sunset Drive to watch some 500 children dress up as elves and other holiday fantasies. The Parade of the Elves was organized in 1983, under the leadership of Red/Sunset Merchants Association’s President John Sorgie of Sunset Quickprint.
Sponsored by the City of South Miami for two decades, over 80 parade entries include local high school marching bands, Girl Scout and Brownie Troops, church groups, prancing horses, strutting dance troupes, decorated cars and floats. This year’s Grand Marshal is UM Hurricane Baseball Coach Jim Morris. NBC 6’s Pam Gigante will serve as Emcee of the parade.
From the first year and for years following, some of the prized returning entries include the South Florida Trail Riders, South Miami High School Cobras Band, the Mahi Shriners and South Miami Hospital. Included in this year’s line of march are theSouthwest Senior High School Royal Lancers, the St. Andrew’s Pipe Band, the VW and Corvette car clubs, Magic City Mustang Car Club, the Jr. Orange Bowl Court and other beauty pageant winners, Zoo Miami Squad, a 1950’s Police Car and an relic fire truck, and much, much more. And, of course, SANTA! Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a beautiful float presented by the First National Bank of South Miami. For the past 20 years, since the 1994 parade, the bank has had the honor of presenting Santa Claus to the curious and thrilled little on-lookers, their parents and families.
Always a popular event with some 5,000 people lining Sunset Drive, this annual tradition is “the best hometown, homegrown parade in Miami-Dade County.” Meeting for several months to plan for the parade is an organizing committee consisting of City of South Miami/SMCRA and business leaders from Chamber South, South Miami Hospital, SOMI Magazine, Team FootWorks and the Red/Sunset Merchants Association.
The Committee is chaired again this year by Veronica Flores, Executive Vice President of FNBSM. “It is all about the children. Over the course of years, children who were dressed as elves, now dress up their children to participate in this unique ‘hometown’ parade,” says Flores.
There will be Pre-Parade Entertainment on Sunset Drive from 1:30 until the 2:00 start time.
For more information, contact the City of South Miami: Yvette Valdes (305-403-2068) or Maria Stout Tate (305-668-2509).