Santa waves to a young boy during the 2013 Safety Harbor Holiday Parade.
As the saying goes, you always save the best for last.
And in the case of special events in Safety Harbor that old adage is definitely true.
The city will conclude its bustling 2014 special events schedule this Saturday, Dec. 20, with one of the more popular events of the year, the annual holiday parade down Main Street.
Every year for the past 33 years, hundreds of participants, including firefighters and clowns, Shriners and ballerinas, gather for the lengthy procession through Safety Harbor’s scenic downtown district, capped by Santa and Mrs. Claus riding atop a giant red sleigh.
City officials say the parade has grown over the years, in terms of number of participants and popularity with residents, due to the nature and location of the event.
“The Safety Harbor holiday parade is always a great time because of the small-town-community feel we enjoy here,” special event coordinator Christine McWilliams told Safety Harbor Connect, noting that they have more than 90 entries in the parade this year, a record number.
“Every year, more and more people come out because the want to enjoy the REAL fun of Safety Harbor!”
The annual Safety Harbor Holiday parade is truly an incredible holiday spectacle.
Due to length and scope of the parade, which kicks off at 1 pm, Safety Harbor residents and visitors will have to deal with some road closures on Saturday.
McWilliams said Main Street will be closed between South Bayshore Boulevard and Ninth Avenue from noon until 4:00 pm.
Additionally, South Bayshore will be closed between Iron Age Road and Main Street, including the Safety Harbor Marina, during that timeframe, as that is the staging area for the parade.
Parade goers are encouraged to bring folding chairs if they want to sit during the two-hour event, and McWilliams wanted to remind everyone that there will not be any food or drinks served at the parade, so she encouraged patrons to visit the many bars and restaurants in the downtown district.
But no matter if you stand or sit, eat or drink, you’re sure to have a good time when you attend Safety Harbor’s incredible annual holiday spectacle.
“The Holiday Parade is a Safety Harbor tradition,” City Manager Matt Spoor said of the event.
“We have maxed out on the parade entries this year, and we should have an equally large crowd to help bring in the holiday cheer!”