By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — When the city’s Lighted Christmas Parade makes its way in the downtown area at 6:30 p.m. Friday, there will be many marching bands to honor late parade co-chairman Bruce Haberkern.
“One of the last words he said to me was, ‘We have a couple more bands,'” chairwoman Sharon Broglin said.
“We’ll have lots of music in this parade,” she said, adding that Haberkern would be happy.
She said there are bands making an appearance that haven’t been in the parade in a while. Broglin believes it is to honor Haberkern, 66, who was a lifelong Allen Park resident.
Haberkern died Oct. 31 after months of illness.
Haberkern was instrumental in getting bands involved in the parade. The retired Anderson Music employee worked with students to further their musical goals.
The parade kicks off at Englewood and Park Avenue, heads down White Avenue and ends at the Frank J. Lada Civic Center, 15800 White Ave., where Santa Clause will be waiting.
Broglin and Haberkern worked to resurrect the parade in 2001 after a 12-year hiatus due to budget cuts.
“It was kind of our dream to get the parade back,” she said of the event that dated back to the 1940s before it ended in 1989.
Floats, marchers and cars are all part of the parade, Broglin said, with more still calling in to line up.
“Oh, we have so many calling in,” she said. “We have new people coming in.”
New is DTE Energy’s “big truck,” the Salvation Army, animals and more.
“Everybody’s calling us to be in the parade,” she said. “Right now we have 1,500 marchers, at least.”
It was rumored that U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might make an appearance. His handlers said that is nothing more than rumors.
Yet, the real man of the day, Santa Claus, won’t disappoint, Broglin said. He will be waiting for the children at the end of the parade. They will be able to take pictures with him and tell him what they are looking forward to unwrapping this year.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)