The Central Palm Beach County Chamber, in collaboration with the Village of Wellington, will bring the 29th Annual Wellington Holiday Parade to thousands of spectators of the Central Western Communities on Sunday, December 9th. The 2012 Parade's presenting sponsors are the Wellington Preservation Coalition and The Schumacher Family of Dealerships. The Parade begins at 1:00 pm, with floats, marching bands, dance troupes and costumed characters reflecting this year's theme, "Holiday in Paradise."
For the first time in the parade's history, the equestrian industry takes a prominent role. The parade's Grand Marshals are Olympic Equestrians Margie Engle and Todd Minikus, who also are Wellington residents. "We thought it fitting in this Olympic year to feature some of our own Equestrian Olympians who reside in Palm Beach County. The Equestrian Season is upon us, so this is the perfect timing for our parade. We are thrilled that we can feature both Margie and Todd as our Grand Marshalls," said Mary Lou Bedford, Vice President of the Chamber.
Margie Engle, originally from Miami, now based in Wellington, rode for the United States at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and was a member of the United States Silver Medal team at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany in 2006. Engle is a ten-time American Grand Prix Association Rider of the Year and is America's winningest grand prix rider with nearly 200 wins. In 2003, she was a member of the United States Gold Medal Pan American team at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. She has competed on 55 Nations Cup teams for the United States and has been to the World Cup Finals fifteen times.
Todd Minikus is based in Loxahatchee, Florida. In 2001 Todd was named the Horseman of the Year. He was a member of the Bronze medal team at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2007. Since competing in his first grand prix in 1985, he has forged an impressive career with more than 75 grand prix wins, five FEI World Cup Show Jumping Finals and has competed on eight United States Nations Cup teams. He is the 1997 winner of the $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational and a five-time winner of the Budweiser Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He also won the $100,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship in 2001. Todd was the alternate for the USET 2000 Olympic Show Jumping squad in Sydney, Australia and was long-listed for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Also, equestrians from some of the industry's major components - hunters, jumpers, Polo and dressage riders - will ride in the parade, giving the community an up-close experience with the human and equine athletes. Equestrians also will be represented in the judge's box. Former Wellington Equestrian Preservation Alliance President, Kimberly Jacobs will join the judge's panel. Sal Delgreco joins the judge's panel for Schumacher. The pair, along with Kathy Foster and Karen Cavanaugh, will determine the winning parade entries in each category, including floats, decorative vehicles and marching bands.
The parade route begins at Wellington Trace and continues down Forest Hill Boulevard, ending at Wellington's Town Center and Amphitheater. In an effort to provide a safe procession for the parade, Forest Hill Boulevard will be closed from the north intersection at Wellington Trace to South Shore Boulevard beginning at 12:30 pm.
This year for the first time, the day's events will end with the official tree lighting at the Wellington Amphitheater in the Holiday Park. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Wellington Preservation Coalition and Waste Management, the Holiday Fun Park will include many more family oriented activities such as a carousel, skating rink, kids train ride, bounce houses, food and exhibit booths, and a live concert immediately following the parade with an amazing Billy Joel tribute band. The Tree Lighting is scheduled for 6:15 so there will be plenty of food, fun and entertainment for the whole family.
The hours of the Holiday Park are from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at the Wellington Amphitheater located at 12100 Forest Hill Boulevard.
Before the parade, lace up your running shoes for the Holiday Mile Run/Walk beginning at 12:45 pm at Forest Hill Boulevard and Country Club Drive. Preregistration is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. The race application is available at www.cpbchamber.com. For more information, call (561) 790-6200.
The day of festivities would not be possible without the invaluable co-operation of Wellington, PBSO, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, and the generosity of our presenting sponsors Schumacher Family of Dealerships and the Wellington Preservation Coalition.
Other Community Sponsors include: Waste Management: sponsor of the Holiday Park, Florida Public Utilities, TKM Farms, The City of Greenacres, the Palm Beach Post, Republic Services of Palm Beach, Wellington Golf Cars, FP&L, Ric Bradshaw-PBSO, Boynton Financial Group, Whole Foods Market, Two Men and a Truck, The Gourmet Deli House, Starbucks, Grapeseeker Advertising and Design, Hill Audio Visual, JJ Muggs Stadium Grill, Print-it Plus and Walgreens.
Media Partners include The Palm Beach Post, Town Crier, Sun Sentinel, Wellington the Magazine, The Forum Group, Phelps Media Group, Coffee News, and Around Wellington.