40th Annual event draws 25,000 spectators
With blue skies, and temperatures in the 60’s, The Sertoma Club of Apopka unveiled its 40th Annual Apopka Christmas Parade.
An estimated crowd of 25,000 sat along Park Avenue as approximately 90 floats, vehicles, musicians, bands and displays took traditional route to Votaw Road. The common theme that all entries used was “The Birthday of the King!”
The parade originated in 1967 with the Apopka Chamber of Commerce in charge. In 1974, the Foliage Sertoma Club took over the event and has managed it ever since. It has become the largest parade in Orange County.
The Apopka Police Department, with Chief Michael McKinley, led off the parade. McKinley is in his second year as Police Chief of the APD, but not new to Apopka, having lived here for many years.
John Ricketson was this year’s Grand Marshall. Ricketson is the Publisher of The Apopka Chief and Planter. Pat McGuffin was the Master of Ceremonies. He is also the President of the Sertoma Club. His father Mac McGuffin is Sertoman of the Year.
Pamela Joy Smith, John Davie and Dorian Goodman and will choose the best float and best marching band. That announcement is scheduled for Tuesday.
Among the sponsors of the parade were The City of Apopka, Florida Door Solutions, Iberia Bank, Seacoast Bank, Joyce Brocker, Nelson’s Insurance Agency, First United Methodist Church, Spurlock Group Real Estate Solutions, Waste Management, Fast Signs. and Beef O Brady’s.
The four bands marching in the parade were from Apopka, Evans, Ocoee and Wekiva High Schools.
And closing the parade was Santa Claus riding on an Apopka Fire Department engine along with Apopka’s new Fire Chief Chuck Carnesale.