Join in the fun in this year’s Holiday Extravaganza Parade

AUBURN HILLS, MI (October 30, 2013) — Everyone enjoys watching a parade, but have you ever thought about being in a parade?

Holiday Extravaganza parade organizers are seeking parade units for this year’s event, which is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7.

Girl Scout Troop 43232 has been participating in the Holiday Extravaganza parade for the past four years. Troop leader Melissa Smith said the parade gives the girls an opportunity to participate in a fun community event while promoting Girl Scouts and getting people excited for the organization’s annual cookie sale.

She asked the group of 13 seventh grade Cadettes and one ninth grade Senior Girl Scout for their feedback about the Holiday Extravaganza parade and among the girls’ favorite experiences are passing out candy, being with other troops, joining in activities before the parade begins, seeing the floats, talking to other participants and drinking hot chocolate.

Each year they come up with a troop holiday theme (except Santa) and dress up for the parade.  Last year, they added Girl Scout cookie costumes as part of their presentation. A young Daisy Girl Scout troop dressed up as presents. This year Troop 43232 will be adding a small trailer float promoting Girl Scouting, said Smith.

All local scouting organizations and other community groups are invited to participate. A collaborative effort between the communities of Auburn Hills, Pontiac, Waterford and White Lake and coordinated by the non-profit Greater Pontiac Host Committee, the Holiday Extravaganza Parade and WinterFUN Festival is a free, family-oriented event that draws thousands to the downtown Pontiac area.

There are many opportunities to participate in the event. Businesses, organizations, schools, churches and other groups are invited to enter units in the parade while individuals are encouraged to sign up as volunteers. Lizabeth Wiggins, volunteer resources officer for Lighthouse of Oakland County (, has helped connect interested people with the Holiday Extravaganza to help with the balloons.

Wiggins said so many people want to help out this time of year. What she enjoys about the Holiday Extravaganza is supporting the parade and the community.

Also enthusiastically supporting the event will be Friends of District Four, which will enter four floats in the parade this year, all based on the theme “It’s A Year Round Thing.” Each float will represent a different season. The Pontiac Creative Arts Center will also enter a float.

Brenda Carter, Pontiac Board of Education member and wife of District Four City Councilman Randy Carter, said the district citizens have been actively involved in the parade since 2009 and each year they provide more floats. They show a lot of enthusiasm and community pride in their entries.

She said the best part of the Holiday Extravaganza Parade is watching the children’s faces light up with excitement. She encourages others to participate because it will make them feel good while doing good in the community.

“The feeling is contagious,” she said. “We truly love this parade!”

People or groups interested in participating in the Holiday Extravaganza parade can visit to process an application. There is limited space available and applications are due by Nov. 8.

Community Network Services will be participating in the parade for the first time this year. April Kidd, employment specialist with Community Network Services’ Visions Clubhouse, said members of both Visions and Our House Clubhouses will be riding on the float holding signs that are highlights of what they do in the community and for their members. Members will also be walking next to float passing out candy to spectators.

“We look forward to being in the parade,” she said.

People are also asked to consider donating new hats, gloves and socks for infants to middle school-aged children that will be distributed at Holiday Extravaganza by Women of Growth. Last year there was an overwhelming response as the organization was able to give away over 300 items, said Motiryo Robertson, founder/chairperson for Women of Growth.

Visit to find out how to help with Operation Hats, Gloves and Socks.

Holiday Extravaganza is made possible thanks to a number of generous volunteers, donors and sponsors, including presenting sponsors Genisys Credit Union, Lee Industrial Contracting and Michigan Works of Oakland County. For more information about the event, visit or call (248) 858-8347, ext. 5180.

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