‘Twas the morning of December 7, when community residents gathered to celebrate the 2019 Hammond Holiday Parade. Starting at Gavit High School, the parade continued through 175th Street, turning into Indianapolis Blvd.
“It is a great event that brings together everyone in the Hammond community and beyond to celebrate the holidays,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. “Hammond has been doing this for as long as I can remember, and it seems like each year we get more and more people who attend. We’re so proud to bring people together on this beautiful day for the upcoming holiday season.”
The parade’s Grand Marshal this year was the cast from the Towle Theater’s “Miracle on 34th Street”. Other groups like Those Funny Little People, South Shore Ghostbusters, and local high school marching bands from Bishop Noll Institute and Gavit High School also came to provide entertainment. In addition, other local schools like Purdue University Northwest made an appearance.
“The athletes are here today to represent Purdue University Northwest and to have a good time,” said Sal Cordova, a PNW alumnus and graduate assistant in Academic Services in Athletics. “I love being here today. Being able to walk in this parade with fellow PNW community members makes me feel really good.”
Dozens of floats moved down the streets of Hammond, throwing various types of candy and playing cheery music to get parade-goers into the holiday spirit. The Grinch and the characters of The Nightmare Before Christmas interacted with the crowds as well.
“Being a part of this event feels magical. When I was selected to be the drum major, my heart was filled with absolute joy,” said Audrey Elizabeth-Wigsmoen, current drum major for the Gavit High School band. “I’ve been a part of this band since I was in 6th Grade and having this position is wonderful.”
After the parade, Santa and his elves invited children for “Photos with Santa” in the Community Room at the Hammond Sportsplex at 6630 Indianapolis Blvd.
“Overall, it is great to see the community –everyone from government entities to local groups to schools –come out today and kick off that Christmas spirit,” said Frank J. Mrvan, North Township Trustee. “It’s a good time to see smiling faces and friendly people out-and-about.”
Wally of Those Funny Little People expressed his delight in seeing all of the children and families enjoying the floats and spreading Christmas cheer.
“I am so excited to see everyone come out today and be thrilled for Christmas,” said Wally of Those Funny Little People. “Also, I came today to let the kids know to be good this year because Santa Claus is coming soon!”