Albion Aglow – Christmas Parade

Friday, December 6, 2024

The Albion Aglow parade is an event sponsored by the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce.  It usually takes place the first Friday of December one week after Thanksgiving.  It has been called Albion Aglow and sponsored by the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce since before the year 2002. 

The history by Frank Passic explains how the parade and festivities almost were cancelled before the Chamber came to help out.

“This Tuesday, December 2 (2003) at 6:15 p.m. in the evening will be the “Albion Aglow” holiday parade in downtown Albion. Fifty-plus years ago however, Albion used to have a Christmas Parade during the day which attracted hundreds of children and adults alike. Albion’s Christmas parades used to be held on the Saturday in December one week after Thanksgiving weekend. This annual event was so popular, there were even two parades: one in the morning at 10:30 a.m, and one at 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon! Sponsored by the Albion Merchant’s Association, the parades drew big crowds and the cash registers of Albion’s downtown merchants were ringing with Christmas cheer.

Downtown was always decorated for this event. There were two Christmas trees that were placed right in the middle of Superior St. One was located just north of the railroad tracks before the intersection with Michigan Avenue, and the other at the intersection with Ash St.! I’ve got a photograph of the latter and will print that next week in this column. The local Albion Post Office annually placed a nativity scene on the small hill outside of their building. For those who don’t know what a nativity scene is, it consists of hollow plastic images of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, and animals including donkeys, sheep, straw (real), and a wooden “latheboard” manger with strung electric lights. These were so religious-looking that the U.S. Supreme Court had them declared unconstitutional and you don’t see ‘em anymore in public places.

The 1953 parade was the last. Organizers lamented it was too cold and too much work to get everyone to participate. Beginning in 1954, there was no Christmas parade. Instead, Santa Claus would make his grand appearance on the roof of the Commercial & Savings Bank (now Citizens Bank). The Albion Fire Department would escort Santa down from the roof on their aerial ladder and truck, and escort him to his ‘Santa house.'”



Albion Aglow Parade 2023

Description of the 2023 Albion Aglow Parade and schedule from the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce. For the official link to the larger image click here.