Malden’s 15th Annual Parade of Holiday Traditions was held on Saturday, November 24th as crowds of excited spectators lined the route and cheered parade participants from Maplewood Square, along Salem Street to the reviewing stand in front of the Malden Teen Enrichment Center. School bands, community groups, school floats, dancers, musicians, the Shriners, Santa Claus and more participated for the traditional kickoff to the holiday season.
Emceeing this year’s event was Superintendent of Schools John Oteri and this year’s Parade Grand Marshals were Anthony Decotis of Mixx 360 and Town Line Luxury Lanes and Chris Tkach of Idle Hands Craft Ales. Both Malden business owners went above and beyond in their contributions that benefited the renovation of our World War I Monuments. Anthony Decotis contributed $10,000 and Idle Hands assisted with a Road Race that brought the City $10,000 and additionally they brewed a special “Edgeworth Ale” and donated a portion of the proceeds to the project. Mayor Gary Christensen presented each of them with a plaque commemorating their contributions to the community.
Each Malden school was invited to participate in the Float Contest and bring its own unique presence to the Parade, either with a float or demonstration. As this year was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, students were encouraged to use their creativity with this year’s theme: “Thank you Veterans, we are grateful for your service!” The Grand Marshals also had a very important job to do – judging the School Float Contest! Participating in the contest were the Beebe, Ferryway, Forestdale, Salemwood, Linden and Cheverus Schools.
At 4 PM residents were invited to the lawn of the Malden Public Library for the Christmas Tree Lighting. At the beginning of the ceremony, Senator Ed Markey and his wife Dr. Susan Blumenthal offered remarks and wished Malden a very happy holiday season. Mayor Christenson then announced that the grand prize winner of this year’s School Float Contest – and $350 for their art department - was the Forestdale School for their poignant HEROES float which included pictures of family members of students and staff who served in the military over the years. Mayor Christenson then asked all in attendance to assist him in the countdown to the official lighting of the City Christmas Tree. This year’s 30-foot Balsam Tree was purchased and donated by City Councillors Craig Spadafora, Debbie DeMaria, Steve Winslow, Jadeane Sica and Paul Condon.
At 5PM residents gathered at historic Fellsmere Pond for a second Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora. Santa Claus was on hand and Anthony’s provided hot chocolate and cookies. The 24-foot artificial “Giant Everest” tree was purchased by Councillor Spadafora and will be displayed at Fellsmere Pond during the Holiday Season.
Once again, Malden honored its strong past and showcased its future as the community came together to celebrate what truly makes Malden special!