Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will be the 2018 Parade Marshal at the Parade of Big Balloons.
Sarno was announced as parade marshal by Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri Tuesday morning.
Barbieri, who was the 2017 Parade Marshal, also presented Sarno with his official parade jacket and sash.
Sarno will lead the parade down Main Street on Friday, November 23 at 11 a.m. and will be followed by music, helium-filled giant balloons, Santa, and more.
This year’s parade will be co-sponsored by Tower Square and MGM Springfield.
Volunteers are needed for the parade. Read more: Volunteers needed for Springfield’s Parade of Big Balloons
The parade is a long-standing tradition in Springfield, having been held the day after Thanksgiving since the 1980’s.
“And I heard they were looking for new sponsorships and I approached my partner and my partner was also very cooperative with that approach, so we decided to sponsor this event,” said Vid Mitta, one of the owners of Tower Square.
The parade costs $37,000 and will step-off on Main Street from Lyman Street and continue down Main Street to Margaret Street. Several balloons will also be displayed on Union Street and the MGM Lion will be floating in MGM Springfield’s Armory Square.
Tower Square will host their annual Holiday Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. following the parade with Santa, costumed characters, face painting, and other entertainment.
Additionally, MGM Springfield will kick off their “Holidays at MGM Springfield” event at 1:45 p.m. that same day with the plaza transforming into an ice rink with special guest U.S. National Figure Skating Champion Nancy Kerrigan.