Parade grand marshal counts many ways that make Medina a great place to live

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2022 at 12:37 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: From left, Medina Mayor Mike Sidari, Parade of Lights chairman Jim Hancock and Grand Marshal Georgia Thomas chat on the reviewing stand before opening ceremonies to kick off the 14th annual Parade of Lights on Saturday night.

MEDINA – Christmas in Medina on Saturday could go down in history as a record-breaker – from crowds of people and 50-degree temperatures to an impressive 40-plus floats in the Parade of Lights.

The day began with the 5K race, which exceeded sponsor’s hope of more than 100 runners, followed by a pet parade and arrival of Santa Claus at noon, sales and special holiday events in downtown stores throughout the day, and capped off with fireworks and the Parade of Lights at 6 p.m.

Throughout the day, people filled the streets and lined up to enter stores. At the Coffee Pot Café, where lines extended to the door, Dan Rosentreter and his husband Hans rushed to fill orders.

“It has been extremely busy all day,” Hans said. “This is exciting.”

Hans also works full time at Creekside Florist, where he said they were also very busy all day.

At 5:30 p.m., Prime Time Brass, a regular participant in the Parade of Lights, played Christmas tunes in the alley behind Rotary Park, where just prior to the 6 p.m. start of the parade, Tom Hungerford, vice president of sales at Takeform, presented Mayor Mike Sidari with the keys to a new sleigh the company made for Santa.

“It took two engineers, a designer and a year of work, but we have a new sleigh,” Hungerford said.

Sidari accepted the key, saying the sleigh will provide holiday cheer to the community for years to come.

(Left) Tom Hungerford, vice president of sales at Takeform, presents a key to Medina Mayor Mike Sidari for the sleigh his company made for Santa Claus. (Right) Georgia Thomas, Grand Marshal of Medina’s 14th annual Parade of Lights, talks about her love of Medina, after being introduced by parade chairman Jim Hancock, prior to start of the parade.

Parade Grand Marshal Georgia Thomas was introduced by parade chairman Jim Hancock, after which she shared why she was honored to be chosen as Grand Marshall.

“When I watch TV and they talk about the best small towns in America, they miss the really best one – Medina,” Thomas said. “In my opinion, Medina has it all. A Nationally Registered Historic Main Street, great shopping, and to borrow a word from the movie ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,’ ‘scrumpdelicious’ restaurants. This is a fabulous family town, with the YMCA, a fabulous skate park, a dog park and people parks.”

She named the village’s great schools, great football team and award-winning Mustang Band, as well as the Medina Historical Society and Museum, which preserves the past for future generations.

“Our community services, such as Lee-Whedon Library, public works, police, fire department and ambulance are wonderful in my opinion,” Thomas said. “We have friendly churches and service organizations, and let’s not forget all of you – super Medinaians.”

She went on to point out Medina has the only road that goes under the canal and a lovely, wide canal basin for visiting boaters and watercraft rental, plus a tow path for walking.

“Our local farms and yummy Farmers’ Market, I think, make this area the ‘Foodie Capital’ of the world, in my book,” Thomas added.

These are the reasons, in spite of having lived in two different continents and visited others, she chose the home town she grew up in – Medina – to come back to when she retired.