Dr. Paul Broadie (sitting middle in suit) leading the Santa Fe College float at A Very GNV Holiday Parade on Saturday.
Photo by J.C. Derrick
The city of Gainesville has not held a holiday parade since the 1990s, but on Saturday it brought the tradition back with more than 90 participants. Former Florida Gators head football coach Steve Spurrier acted as grand marshal for the “A Very GNV Holiday Parade.”
Some participants knew it was their first time at a Gainesville holiday parade but were surprised to hear it is the first time the city has had one in three decades.
Devoe Haynes said the parade was a good opportunity to go out and fellowship with other people. Her son, Malakhi said his favorite part of the parade was taking a photo with the Grinch from the Urban Yachting Club’s float—a boat on wheels.
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“We’re very excited that it’s back,” Haynes said. “As far as it being the first parade, we’re enjoying it a lot.”
Gainesville Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut led the push for a parade, proposing the idea, spearheaded fundraising and led the vision planning with a steering committee.
UF Health, Cox Communication and MARC Radio were the title sponsors of the event, each donating over $10,000. The parade also drew silver, bronze and sapphire level sponsors to reach its fundraising goals.
“One of MARC Radio’s main initiatives is to do anything for the community, and this is all community driven, so it’s right up our alley,” Vinny Foo, program director for MARC’s radio station Magic 101.3 FM, said. “We love our community, we support our community because our community supports us,”
Mainstreet Daily News also participated in the parade.
Glory Reitz is a Mainstreet Daily News reporter based in Gainesville. She earned a degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism and has served as editor-in-chief for two college newspapers. Glory is a sucker for any good story but is especially distractible by anything pertaining to Africa or classic British literature. A big fan of long, long walks, Glory has yet to actually get lost in the woods—but that doesn’t mean she’ll stop trying.