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December 6-7, 2013 - Holiday Extravaganza

The annual Holiday Extravaganza festivities united the communities of Auburn Hills, Pontiac, Waterford, and White Lake at a celebration of the season in Pontiac between Thanksgiving/Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice (Yule)/Christmas. The annual parade has been ongoing for 32 years and the festivities surrounding it have expanded into a number of events that are fun for the entire family. According to the Pontiac Downtown Business Association (PDBA), the mission is to “bring together Oakland Co. cities and townships to share together in celebration of the holiday season in the heart of Oakland Co.”

This year the Holiday Extravaganza was held on December 6 and 7, with the lighting of the Tree of Hope ceremonies kicking off the celebration on the evening of the 6th in front of the Waterman Courthouse in Pontiac. There was music, dignitaries, and the lighting of the tree’s new decorations, followed by caroling at the First Presbyterian Church. It was both fun and really cold; your Detroit Metro Mashup photographers fled to the Downtown 51 Grille for warm food and drink shortly after the lighting.

Beginning at 8:30 AM on Dec. 7, the WinterFUN Festival portion of the Extravaganza began. The PDBA describes it very well as a “great opportunity for families to come together to participate in several activities. There is a Gallery of Ice with live ice carving competition, a petting farm with adorable animals, live Santa reindeer, s'mores and much, much more. There is also a children's WinterART Center that allows kids to participate in several different craft projects, get their face painted and much, much more. Don't miss out ... ALL EVENTS ARE FREE!”

The parade was held at 11:00 AM on the 7th with Andrew Humphrey of WDIV-TV Local 4 as the Grand Marshall. It had over 100 characters, huge balloons, floats from The Parade Company, many marching bands from area high schools, fire trucks, choreographed dancers, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and much more. It proceeded from Cesar Chavez Avenue down Saginaw Street and ended at the Phoenix Center Plaza. At the end of the parade the ice sculpture competition awards were presented at Lafayette Market, which had also provided free hot chocolate to all the paradegoers. DMM has documented the tree lighting and parade with lots of photos, above. We hope you enjoy them and will meet up with us at next year’s Holiday Extravaganza!