The community of Pasadena is coming together this Sunday, November 7 to celebrate a community spirit of gratitude with its 25th Annual Thanksgiving Parade, but residents from surrounding areas are welcome to experience the sights and sounds of the holiday tradition too.
The Parade assembles at Tick Neck Park and travels down Tick Neck Road at 2 p.m., before it eventually ends up at George Fox Middle School. Police announced earlier this week that some roads involving the parade will be temporarily closed for the event. The route is a bit over two miles.
“It’s a big thing,” said parade organizer Angela Balsamo. “It’s what we do on the first Sunday of November.”
The Pasadena Business Association (PBA) sponsors the event, but it is really a team effort of the entire Pasadena community. Dozens of local businesses contribute participants, vehicles and floats to the parade.
The parade is also known as a major event that contributes to local food pantries. Those attending are asked to bring non-perishable food items when they come. A truck from a local grocery will gather the items from the public. They food will then be shared with organizations that help feed the hungry in the community.
Drop off boxes for non-perishable food will also be stationed at many Pasadena PBA-member businesses.
As of Tuesday, November 2, Balsamo said she was continuing to get requests to participate in the holiday parade.
“I’m still getting calls as of today,” she said. “We’ll probably be around 40 vehicles. They’ll be a lot of people walking too. It should be a really great event and good community turnout.”
Parade awards will be given out for those participating. These major awards include “Best Business Display or Float,” “Best Patriotic Entry,” “Best Youth Group Entry,” “Best Musical or Performance Entry,” “Best Community Entry,” and “Most Original.”
The Master of Ceremonies for the parade will be Maryland State Delegate Nicholaus Kipke. The Grand Marshalls of the parade are Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad and Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Trisha Wolford. The parade will also be recorded and broadcast on Anne Arundel County’s public access channel during Thanksgiving week.
Grannie Annie's Childcare and Learning Center plans to participate in the yearly parade tradition. The daycare center will enter a bus carrying some of its teachers in the event.
The businesses’ owner wasn’t sure weather the bus would be decked out as a box of crayons or a bushel of apples on Sunday, but she was leaning toward apples.
“I love that our community comes together, “ said Ruthi Claytor, owner of Grannie Annie's Childcare and Learning Center. “I like to do things for our community and it gets our name out there.”
Claytor said she only usually does promotional activities that involve bettering the community in some way.
The parade ends with the float that carries Santa, ushering in the holidays in Pasadena. It is the start of a busy schedule of sponsored events for the PBA over the next month.
For Veterans Day, the PBA will be holding an event honoring veterans. The giant American Flag that flies near where Maryland route 100 enters Mountain Road, will be lowered and exchanged for a winter American flag, made of a different material. There will also he an honor guard, bugler, and wreath laying ceremony.
“This is our busy time of year,” Balsamo said. “We have a huge amount of vets that come. We have a giveaway.”
And in early December there will be the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Lake Shore Plaza in Pasadena. A large 30 to 40 foot spruce tree near Arundel Federal Savings Bank is the focus of the event, but youngsters and the young at heart will also be able to see Santa again.
“We decorate it (Christmas tree),” Balsamo said. “Santa comes. We do pictures. We have music. We get carnival games. Some of our member restaurants give out hot chocolate, cookies or ice cream.”
Balsamo could not contain her enthusiasm when it comes to the upcoming holiday events.
“I absolutely love it,” she said. “It’s a great way to celebrate the community.”