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Local Holiday fun for the Family

Wayne - Wayne’s major holiday parade this year — and every year for the past 52 — will take place Saturday, Nov. 21, starting at 9:30 a.m., in Preakness Shopping Center, Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne.

The parade will feature the marching bands of both Wayne high schools, clowns, antique cars, Wayne’s fire and emergency apparatus, the Passaic County mounted deputies and other musical attractions.

After welcoming Santa on the Saturday after Thanksgiving 49 times, the 2006 parade began a new tradition by welcoming him to Preakness Shopping Center on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Clearview Cinema gets into the holiday spirit by offering a free showing of the 2008 children’s film "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It will be shown once, at 10:30 a.m. on parade day; children will be admitted first-come, first-served. Attendance is limited to the capacity of the theatre. An adult must accompany very young children. A Wayne police escort leads the parade into the shopping center. Mayor Chris Vergano will serve as grand marshal, riding in an open antique car. Other antique cars on display, driven by members of the North Jersey chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, date back to the early years of the 20th century.

Marching bands of Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley high schools will be the centerpieces of the parade. Shriners from the Salaam Masonic Temple in Livingston will provide entertainment. The temple’s string band, similar to the mummers’ bands that are featured in many parades in Philadelphia, will be playing traditional holiday music as the parade completes two circles around the parking lot.

Accompanying the paraders and then mingling with the parade watchers will be young Wayne residents dressed as popular fairy tale characters or cartoon figures. They will distribute candy to children.

Chiqui de Clown will provide pre-march entertainment and then create animal balloons for the children in Clearview’s lobby after the parade.

Another decades-long tradition at Preakness is an opportunity for youngsters to present their Christmas wishes to Santa Claus. At the conclusion of the parade, Santa will be in the lobby of the Clearview Cinema, where children take turns delivering their gift wish list and have a picture taken with him. The free digital print will be immediately available.

The shopping center’s Merchants’ Association and Hekemian & Co., the corporate landlord, sponsor this free service as well as the parade itself. For further details, call toll free 1-800-785-5710.

The shopping center, with more than 40 shops is located at the intersection of Hamburg Turnpike, Berdan Avenue and Alps Road in Wayne. Macy’s, the anchor department store, occupies more than 81,000 square feet. A Super Stop & Shop supermarket occupies in excess of 61,000 square feet.

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