F. EUGENE BAILEY
Santa Claus comes
to Romeo, Washington
by CHRIS GRAY
A certain bearded man known for his magic sleigh, familiar laugh and love of cookies and milk will make his way to the Romeo area this weekend.
Observer Staff Writer
The Romeo-Washington-Bruce Parks and Recreation is holding three events with Santa Claus traveling all the way from the North Pole to speak with good boys and girls.
Residents can first catch Santa at the Romeo Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony in the Village Park at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5.
For the second year, the parade will be held on Main Street instead of St. Clair Street, starting at Washington Street and ending at Newberry Street. Grace Venet, Parks and Recreation special events assistant said the shift has drawn in bigger crowds to the traditional event.
"It lends to the air of excitement and brings it downtown," she said.
Participants in the parade include local organizations, businesses and the Romeo High School Marching Band. Finishing off the parade is Jolly Old St. Nick himself, who will need the help of the crowd to light the tree in the Village Park.
Kids can visit with Santa in the gazebo and enjoy refreshments of chestnuts and hot cocoa provided by the Romeo Lions Club.
"The Village Park is so quaint, and surprisingly for such a fairly small piece of land we get a lot of people in that park," she said.
Those wanting a second chance to talk with Santa or to enjoy an indoor Christmas celebration can head to the Washington Township Municipal Building for the annual tree lighting and Christmas party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 6.
Santa Claus will arrive with the help of the Washington Township Fire Department and ask the crowd to help light the Christmas tree. The lighting is followed by a party held in the Township Hall with refreshments, entertainment and crafts to enjoy while waiting for the chance to talk with Santa.
The Washington Lions Club is sponsoring the event. Venet said the assistance from both the Romeo and Washington Lions is always appreciated.
"They are traditional hometown events, and it's really wonderful that the Lions help out," she said.
Registration is not required for either tree lighting ceremony.
The weekend ends with a warm breakfast with Santa at the Romeo Masonic Temple on Dec. 7. Guests can enjoy a meal of pancakes, eggs and sausage while visiting with Santa Claus.
Along with free balloon sculptures from Tootsee the clown, a 10 a.m. performance of stories and songs will be held by All The Worlds A Stage in Gray's Opera House located upstairs.
Tickets are available for both breakfast times. The first runs from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and the second from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Seating is first come, first serve.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $2 for children ages 2-12 and free for kids 2 and under. Non-resident tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for kids.
Checking it twice
Those with a list of gifts can take advantage of the Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals (MRP) Association's Holiday Open House. On Dec. 6 and 7, shoppers can earn a Moonlight Madness buck for every $20 spent at 26 local participating businesses.
The bucks can be redeemed as cash at the Moonlight Madness sales event in downtown Romeo from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 13.
For those who can't make it to speak with Santa personally, or want to make extra sure their Christmas wishes are heard, Parks and Recreation is offering its Santa Calls program.
By turning in a form by Dec. 12, Mrs. Claus and Santa's helpers will call boys and girls between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 16.
Forms are available at the Parks and Recreation building, the Romeo and Washington senior centers and on-line at www.rwbparksrec.org.
Call (586) 752-6543 for more information.