By Megan Pennefather • MIRROR STAFF WRITER • November 30, 2008
Sometimes you’ve got to make sacrifices if you want to rock, even if it means your knees twitch from the cold.
“I couldn’t tell if I was playing guitar,” said 13-year-old Nicole Amine, a student at the Detroit School of Rock and Pop in Royal Oak.
Amine and fellow School of Rock students Alie Miller, Diana Otero, Dan Meredith, Alexis Filippis of Royal Oak and Joe Silver of Huntington Woods managed a rousing rendition of Jingle Bell Rock last week at the Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade, sponsored by the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority.
Despite chilly temps, the School of Rock teens and other parade participants had a big audience: About 20,000 people came out from around the area to see the parade march down Washington Avenue Nov. 22.
“It’s such a nice community event,” said Cathy Fall of Royal Oak. Her 8-year-old daughter, Ava, dressed as a brightly wrapped gift to march in the parade with classmates from Northwood Elementary.
“I like it,” Ava said of the parade. “I liked all the floats and things.”
In its seventh year, the Holiday Magic Parade has clear regional appeal: Fox 2 Detroit broadcast the parade live while spectators traveled miles.
“I like it. I plan on coming back next year when I don’t have any activities in the afternoon so I can go shopping,” said Susan Ackerman of Oxford. “My girlfriend’s in Royal Oak, but she hasn’t made it (to the parade) yet.”
No matter, there were still plenty who did, including former Royal Oak residents Jennifer and Patrick Lee of Bloomfield Hills, who brought their 7-month-old son Gunnar. “He liked it,” Patrick said of Gunnar’s first parade. “He liked the unicycle guy who was way up in the air.”
Downtown Manager Stephanie McIntyre said while the day was cold, she couldn’t be more pleased with how her first parade as the manager went off. “I have no complaints,” she said.
And since the parade formula is working, McIntyre doesn’t plan to change much come next year. “Our goal is just kind of to maintain the parade and add to it as we go along,” she said.