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Bigger, Better Christmas Parade Coming Sunday

By Bryce Abshier – Contact

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

The happiest season of all will soon come full swing in South Marion with the return of the Belleview Christmas Parade. The event will take place this Sunday, December 3 at 2:00 pm. The theme of this year’s Belleview parade will be “Christmas Around The World”.

According to event organizer Sue Mosley of Friends of the Christmas Parade LLC, the 2023 installment of the Belleview Christmas Parade will be much longer than 2022’s parade, with many more participants taking part in the much-anticipated event. “There will be a couple of surprises, it should be fun,” said Mosley.

This year’s parade will feature perennial hits like the Belleview High School and Lake Weir High School marching bands, as well as Marion County Youth Football and Pop Warner league teams. Local law enforcement agencies will have vehicles on display and, of course, Santa Clause himself will headline the parade.

Mike Crimi, of Express Care, has received the honor of being named Grand Marshal for the parade. A statement released by parade organizers said that “Mike was chosen because of his outstanding dedication and contributions and commitment to the people of the city of Belleview and surrounding areas. He has been a staple in the community for most of his life.”

For decades, the Belleview Christmas Parade was a product of the now defunct Belleview South Marion Chamber of Commerce. Once the Chamber of Commerce folded in recent years, a Christmas Parade void was left and the Belleview community went without any such event in 2020 and 2021.

According to Mosley, Belleview Mayor Christine Dobkowski reached out to the Friends of the Christmas Parade LLC, who have long organized Ocala’s parade, and asked if they’d like to take on Belleview as well. Mosley obliged this request, and the parade made a return to Belleview in 2022.

Mosley, who has been involved with the Ocala Christmas Parade for 27 years, said that she was happy to help keep this tradition alive in Belleview.

Just as it was organized last year, the 2023 parade route will be inverted from the old path that many were accustomed to, beginning on Robinson Road and traveling north on Abshier Blvd. For those unable to attend in person, a live stream will be made available on the Belleview Christmas Parade Facebook for re-broadcast.

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

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