Christmas parade season is in full force this weekend, and Hammond is starting off December with a bang. With almost 100 floats in the parade, this was not one to be missed by the community and they were out in force on what was a very sunny and warm December morning.
The parade’s Grand Marshall is the cast from the local Towle Theater, who is currently performing “A Fabulous ‘50s Christmas’. Nikki Krzebiot, Tess Galbiati, and Kelly Bourget are part of Towle Theater and were dressed in 1950’s winter coats and hats as they lead the parade on a parade float decked out in the holiday greens, reds and whites.
“It’s really cool,” explains Galbiati. “When we signed up for this, we didn’t expect to be as much a part of the community as we are.”
The Towle Theater has been a staple in the Hammond community with such support that they were collectively made Grand Marshall of today’s parade.
“It’s cool to be a part of something that’s been going on for 15 years,” Krzebiot said, speaking about the Theater.
“It’s nice to be involved in theater in a community that wants to celebrate theater. And the fact that Towle is representing the Grand Marshall is a pretty cool thing,” said Bourget. “Because you don’t necessarily see that on a community level. So it’s really nice to see that Hammond is a community that you do see a commitment to the arts.”
Even Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott was out today, and was very happy to see that the weather turned out to be unseasonably mild.
“The weather is beautiful. We have had rain and snow before so we learn to appreciate days like this,” McDermott said. “The parade is a kickoff for our holiday season. It’s great for this whole area. Hammond has two winter parades. We did another one about a month ago for the veterans.”
With the Grand Marshall leading the flotilla down Indianapolis Boulevard, the line of floats and participants in the parade were decked out in their holiday finest, as well as some great costumes. Even the South Shore Ghostbusters were there in full force.
With the parade moving along at a stately pace, community members lined up on the sides of the road to wave and wish those that were there a Merry Christmas. The children were flitting about, grabbing the candy that was thrown by the many floats that passed by.
Finally, Santa brought up the rear on his sled, waving to those passing by along with Mrs. Claus and some elves he brought for help.
“I love this. It gets everyone in the holiday spirit, that giving spirit and celebrates what the season really means,” said Santa Claus.
After the parade floated by and Santa waved his merry goodbyes to those that came to see him, there was still a lingering merriment that hung in the air. And that was the intent behind the parade- to show everyone that Christmas isn’t just a time of year, but a state of mind. And the citizens of Hammond seemed to have heard it and taken that message to heart.