Battle Creek Christmas Parade

Our History

40 years ago the late Thad Harding lamented over the fact that there had not been a Christmas Parade in Battle Creek for nearly 30 years.  Thad decided that this year would be the first of a new Christmas tradition in Battle Creek.  Unsure exactly how achieve his goal he approached his fellow Harper Creek Optimist Club members and asked for their help.  From this modest parade (with 16 entries) the Battle Creek Christmas Parade has grown in to one of the largest Christmas parades between Chicago and Detroit.  Each year it has grown and the parade averages 100-120 entries each year.


Unlike many of the "commercial" parades in Michigan during the holiday season that charges entry fees and enlists minor and major sponsors, the Battle Creek Christmas Parade is hosted solely by the Harper Creek Optimist Club.  Our parade is a true community parade, put on by the community and for the community.  

Harper Creek Optimist Club

Christmas Parade Committee

Jim Demarest

Former Co-Chairman &

Parade Logistics Coordinator

25+ Years of Parade Dedication

until his untimely passing in December 2020.

Duncan Bailey

Co-Chairman

Set-Up Coordinator

40+ Years

John Sims, Sr.

Co-Chairman

Entry Point Coordinator

40+ Years


Dr. Gary Gymer

Co-Chairman

Line-Up Coordinator

40+ Years


Terry Eisen

Co-Chairman

Assistant Parade Coordinator

10+ Years


Stephanie & Zack Cornish

Co-Chairs

Parade Logistics Coordinators

Stephanie - 15+ Years of

Parade Volunteering

Zack - 5+ Years of

Parade Volunteering


Stephanie & Zack are happy to be continuing the Parade Coordination with the entire Parade Committee, that Stephanie's father, Jim, was involved in for many years.


Mike Olsen

Harper Creek

Optimist Club President