Chelsea celebrates Christmas

The city of Chelsea held their 17th annual Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. Following the parade was the Chelsea Christmas Village on Chelsea Road near the Winn-Dixie. The Chelsea Business Alliance also hosted its first Chelsea Kids’ Christmas Party at 12 p.m. at the Chelsea Community Center.

Mayor Tony Picklesimer said the Chelsea Christmas Parade is a long-standing tradition for the city. According to Picklesimer, this parade has been the largest in Chelsea’s history.

“We’re excited that it went well. It just continues to get bigger and bigger every year,” Picklesimer said. “We had to stage the parade in three areas. Floats merged from three different areas at the middle school. There were too many floats for one lot.”

Local vendors set up tents at the Chelsea Christmas Village, which was hosted by the Yellowleaf Ridge Estates Homeowners Association. According to Yellowleaf Ridge Estates Homeowners Association Treasurer Lori Cheney, the event was scheduled for people who were watching the parade. Over 60 vendors were signed up to participate, and proceeds from the Chelsea Christmas Village raised money for a new park in the Yellowleaf subdivision.

Children who attended the Chelsea Kids’ Christmas Party were able to meet “Frozen” characters, get their faces painted and get their pictures taken with Santa Claus. Picklesimer also said the party served as a way to get parents acquainted with the Chelsea Community Center. The Chelsea Christmas Party was made possible by donations from Chelsea Business Alliance members.

“We hope it can become an annual event. We had a great turnout, and we’re really excited about that,” Picklesimer said.

Many Chelsea residents took note of the fact that the parade, Christmas Village and Kids’ Christmas Party all took place close to Christmas Day.

“I think it was good because everything happens so quickly at Christmas. I think it gave us a better opportunity to come,” Chelsea resident Michael Bowman said.

Picklesimer said the city of Chelsea specifically chose to throw these events later in the season to increase the holiday spirit among residents.

“The later the better. Everybody will be even more in the Christmas spirit. It’s just a great way to get us to come together, eight days before Christmas,” Picklesimer said.