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Salem Holiday Parade 2012 Is On

When it looked like it wouldn't happen, Brett Grande and others stepped up and the parade is scheduled for Nov. 25.

When Brett Grande and other members of the Salem Girls Softball League heard it didn't look like the Salem Holiday Parade would happen in 2012, they stepped up to make sure it would.

Grande, the vice president of the softball league, is now the chairman of the Salem Holiday Parade and despite getting a late start, the parade is scheduled for the Sunday after Thanksgiving as usual, Nov. 25.

Last year, longtime chairman Pat Hargreaves announced he would be stepping down after 20 years in charge. Another local, Bill Carter, was to take over as chairman but he moved to New Jersey this past spring.

Grande said the softball league was planning on doing a float in the parade and had everything all lined up when they contacted Hargreaves, who said the parade wasn't going to happen.

"I offered to take it over," said Grande, a father of two who works as an automotive technician in Manchester.

Grande said his family has enjoyed the parade over the years. 

"I didn't want (my kids) to miss out on it," he said.

As a result, many of the people active in the Salem Girls Softball League have taken active roles on the new board in charge of the Holiday Parade, according to Grande.

Once things were more organized, Grande and the board decided they would work to make the parade a reality this year instead of putting it off.

Despite the late start, Grande said the efforts to get participants and donations are "coming along well," but they need to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 for the parade.

They've reached out to many past participants in the parade and while some like the Methuen, Mass., High School band made other committments that weekend believing the parade was off, the Salem High School and Swampscott, Mass. High School bands will be in the parade.

Locals like David Tilton have also been helping with the fundraising efforts, Grande said.

"We still have a long way to go," Grande said.

To donate, participate in the parade or contribute in any other way, Grande can be contacted at 603-479-5002, by e-mail at salemholidayparade@gmail.com or on the parade's Facebook page.

Tim McCarthy November 02, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Trying to get local Veteran's to march in the parade, but seems it is tougher than I thought! I am available but hard to find others!
crystal November 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM
My husband is a enduring freedom vet active duty infantry....
Erin November 25, 2012 at 09:50 PM
We enjoyed the parade thanks to everyone!
Mike November 26, 2012 at 02:49 AM
A great job by the newbies, Thanks for keeping the memories going...See ya next year. Mike Petrilli

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