Drama! and the Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade

Don’t try to sleep in tomorrow if you live in Downtown Royal Oak.  High School marching bands, full grown men driving mini go-carts, and packs of families are set to invade! The Seventh Annual Holiday Magic Parade will take place on Washington Avenue this Saturday, November 22.  The route begins at Washington and Lincoln and heads up to Fourth Street.

The parade will run from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. with the route beginning at Washington Avenue and Lincoln Avenue and heading up to Fourth Street. Beginning at 9 a.m., participating downtown stores will be holding a special parade day sale.

There will be 50 different floats, marching bands and other performers in the parade. Kids will have the opportunity to visit Santa at Stagecrafters from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Baldwin Theater.  –ClickonDetroit

Apparently the police will be too busy guiding traffic to hand out parking tickets.  Don’t feed the meters from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm as parking will be FREE.

Now, if you just clicked on this post to read about Holiday Magic Parade Drama–and we do love drama–continue reading after the break . . .  It appears that local officials have found a way to inject some controversy into this family-friendly event.

Update!  Frank Versagi has joined the fray:

The angry and personalized dialogue added to the concern that this particular mix of personalities is approaching dysfunctionality.

Check out his site here.

More after the jump…

Megan Pennefather of The Mirror is reporting that “political infighting” has made its way into the parade!  Apparently, City Commissioner Carolo Ginotti has been playing the “highly visible role” of emcee of the annual parade broadcast on WROK for years.  This year, Scrooges Fellow Commissioners Chuck Semchena and Stephen Miller reportedly “found it so objectionable . . . that they voiced their concerns to members of the Downtown Developlment Authority, which sponsors the parade . . . .”  Yikes!

Carlo Ginotti

Carlo Ginotti

Check out the whole messy affair, featuring quotes with biting words such as “dispicable,” “silly,” “objectionable,” “bullying,” and “disgusting.”  It makes the recent national election seem downright civil.  The full story is here.

This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan

  • senora fernandez

    no, shame on YOU royal oak politicians!
    if you’re patient, i’m sure every one of you will get your turn emceeing the holiday parade. maybe they were absent the day the “wait your turn” lesson was taught in kindergarten.

  • http://www.urbanelobby.com/ Eric Brown

    Brandon, Excellent Post,
    Perhaps our City Officials should channel there energy toward something productive, like helping spur local business and moving the silly obstacles to clear the way for new development. We have done (15) rental developments in and around Royal Oak, (3) in downtown, and we office in the heart of downtown, Royal Oak yet not once have any, none, zero of those folks acknowledged our presence. I am not looking for favors at any level, but a simple hello would have been welcomed.

    Instead, our residents, us and our customers get a parking ticket if the meter runs dry after five seconds, has to be the MOST aggressive meter patrol around. Royal Oak, if you are listening, ticketing everyone in sight is not good marketing for your city.

    Lastly, and sorry for the rant, what I have personal gotten from the City on multiple occasions are more tickets for putting balloons on sandwich signs, even got a warrant for my arrest for not filing a rental agreement correctly.

  • Brandon

    An arrest warrant for not filing a rental agreement! Yikes. As an active resident in the community, I’ve never even met a local city official. And I agree, there are very few communities that have such an agressive parking policy. Not great for encouraging holiday shopping downtown. And it’s never fun fumbling for change when you want to grab a bite to eat.

  • http://apoliticalparty.net Hubert

    Hmm… there’s something to be said about stagnant leadership, which is kind of why I am on the current crusade to reach out to my peer group (Gen X and Y) to get more involved in the community.

    I appreciate what you’re doing around here, Eric. Your efforts do not go unnoticed by those that truly matter!

  • Ly

    Royal Oak has a 50+ float Holiday Magic Parade? That’s amazing. I didn’t realize it was such a family-oriented place.

  • Brandon

    And we apparently have 12 marching bands . . . at least that’s what it sounded like from my apartment! Still haven’t heard whether or not they let this poor man emcee the parade. Anyone know?

  • Brandon

    Update from VersagiVoice.com:

    The History of the Christmas Parade emcee
    The following communication is provided by Peggy Goodwin, former Marketing Consultant for the DDA.

    As you are aware, I elected not to renew my contract this year because of other client obligations after six years of building the holiday magic parade, sponsorship of it and a concerted consumer marketing plan for Downtown Royal Oak. I would like to share the facts about parade narration that were stated, in part, by Commissioners Capello, Ginotti and Lelito last night. It is so sad to see this debate taking place period, but especially with the recent tragic pedestrian deaths of a beloved senior citizen and a woman cycling to work, the escalating rate of foreclosures, unemployment, etc and yes – the city budget debate. Mr. Shaw said it best.

    Regarding parade narration on WROK, each year I worked with Rich Wilson and Greg Walter, to secure emcees for the parade. The first few years we had representatives from our media sponsors including reporters from the Detroit Free Press, Daily Tribune and Mirror alternating along with attorney Charlie Langton (Langton was already an established WROK volunteer).

    Though all Commissioners and the Mayor were invited to participate each year, three commissioners and the mayor attended the parade each year and enjoyed being part of it. In 2005, I asked Commissioner Ginotti if he would be interested in emceeing because he really enjoyed it, was a good fit with Charlie Langton, and, as an elected official – I believed it helped to humanize a City Commissioner’s role. In 2006, I asked Commissioner Capello to join Commissioner Ginotti, because, she too, was great ambassador of the parade and willing to take it on. There was no coercion, political pressure or posturing to obtain this volunteer position. It also goes without saying that each of them possesses the necessary talents of improvisation, articulation, enunciation and most importantly, a sense of humor. I do believe it is healthy for the community to see two elected officials, who may have been at odds at the commission table at times, coming together for the good of the community – and, it is nice to have both a male and female perspective. It was also clear that Mayor Ellison and Commissioner Lelito, enjoyed walking in the parade each year. These were the elected officials from the Commission table who attended the parade each year. Having Commissioners Ginotti and Capello narrate the parade did not ever preclude anyone else from volunteering or inquiring about it, whether an elected official or not. The fact is, they wanted to do it – they enjoyed it and the community enjoys them.

    I so miss Pat Capello’s rational and eloquent delivery of the facts – as she presented last night at public comment. Everything she said was spot on! It was very sad to see that Commissioner Ginotti’s name was published in the Free Press as if he was being fired from a paid position. And, I do recall that the DDA is empowered by the elected officials who make up the City Commission, not vice versa. They may be “sponsoring” the parade, but they have always gotten full credit, visibility and thanks for the parade from the Commission table, the media and elsewhere. — Peggy Goodwin

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