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Christmas comes early in Germantown

Parade, tree lighting and fun run all planned Sfor Saturday

Nov. 4, 2012

Germantown - It will soon begin to look a lot like Christmas in Germantown as the annual parade and tree lighting are slated for Saturday.

The Germantown Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting a daylong Christmas celebration for the community, starting with the 5K Candy Cane Run/Walk at 10 a.m. The run/walk begins at the Germantown Library, W16957 Mequon Road, and winds through neighborhoods south of Mequon Road, according to Lynn Grgich, executive director of the Chamber.

People can register for the run the day of the event; however, preregistration will secure an event T-shirt. Register at gtownrec.com.

The afternoon events kick off with the Christmas parade at 2 p.m., with the center of the route being along Main Street. From 2:30 to 5 p.m., the Christmas tree lighting activities will be held at the Germantown Library before the village tree is officially lighted for the holiday season. The tree is located outside of the library, where Village Hall and the police department are also located.

It may seem early for the event, but the chamber wanted to ensure local hunters were able to enjoy it before heading out of town on the weekends. Deer hunting starts the following weekend. The weather also tends to be more agreeable earlier in the holiday season, adding to the turnout of the event.

"We did want to pull more residents out to gather together for the event that day especially," Grgich said. "We get more spectators for the parade and more people in the parade."

There are about 50 entrants in the parade, ranging from local Scout groups to the Germantown High School marching band. A few local businesses are also decorating floats and Bernie Brewer and the racing sausages will be in attendance. Music groups will also play during the parade route.

Showalter is marshal

Germantown High School boys basketball coach Steve Showalter was named grand marshal of the parade for his leadership in helping the team win the state tournament last year.

Grgich said each year the parade also honors different dignitaries. This year John Gehl from Gehl Foods will be honored.

"He's retiring from the company, so we thought it was a great way to show some appreciation for all that he has done for the community," she said.

The parade is sponsored by Columbia St. Mary's Germantown Clinic and the Deutschstadt Heritage Foundation. The run/walk is sponsored by financial adviser Sherry Plevak at Edward Jones.

During the tree lighting celebration at the library, there will be free hot chocolate and cookies, as well as free horse drawn carriage rides. Kiwanis will have food available for purchase.

The chamber's goal is to keep the event free for residents in the community each year, which they are able to do through sponsorships.

"It's more for the quality of life you think of for a community. A Christmas parade may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it really is a community draw and pulls the community together," Grgich said. "We are always grateful for our sponsors so we can keep the cost at nothing for residents."

For questions on the event, contact the Germantown Chamber office at (262) 255-1812.

- Danielle Switalski

IF YOU GO

WHAT: 5K Candy Cane Run Walk; Christmas parade; tree lighting activities

WHEN: 10 a.m.; 2 p.m.; and 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Germantown library, W16957 Mequon Road; Main Street; Germantown library

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