Dr. Satish Hiremath will be in the fourth annual Oro Valley Holiday Parade this Saturday, pulling the Hiremath Family Dentistry float and demonstrating his “Queen Elizabeth Wave” to the crowd.
The dental practice is the lead sponsor for the parade, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Ironwood Ridge High School, proceeding east on Naranja Drive to the Oro Valley Library.
Hiremath grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich., where the turning of the leaves and cold air would signify the start of the holidays. “After living here for 18 years, I still can’t get used to the 80-degree weather” at Christmastime, he said. The parade, then, “is a real good thing to do to get people into the holiday spirit.”
“Things are going good,” said organizer Jackie Devery, who was about to mail 47 staging instructions to each of 47 entrants on Monday.
“That’s a little down” from previous years, she said. “In past years, we’ve had 60, maybe 65.”
But there are big groups coming. Coronado Middle School is bringing its band and honor society. Bands are performing from Ironwood Ridge and Canyon del Oro high schools, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Coronado and the drum line from Cross Middle School. Al and Marilyn Cook are entering a truck-full of jazz musicians. And the elected are coming, to include Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Rep. Nancy Young-Wright and newly elected Sen. Al Melvin and Rep. Vic Williams.
A number of floats are slated. Pathway of Hope does a living Nativity, “and they sing all the songs,” Devery said.
There’ll be Girl Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scouts, Oro Valley Dolphins youth football players and cheerleaders, young women representing Miss Pre-Teen Arizona, and a farmer hauling old-style farm implements.
Devery said there are more and new places to watch the parade this year, she said. One of the good ones is near the intersection of La Canada and Naranja.
Hiremath stepped in as a financial sponsor after the first year, when the town of Oro Valley carried the banner, then decided “they shouldn’t be in the parade business.
“To see that many people interested in a parade which basically commemorated kickoff of the holidays … I committed myself,” Hiremath said. “I said ‘I’ll step in and I’ll sponsor it.’”
The commitment is “pretty consistent with what our practice does in the community,” Hiremath said. “My parents always taught me to make my surroundings a better place, and that’s what we try to do.”
A portion of parade proceeds goes to benefit Catalina Community Services. The service group plans to have containers set up along the parade route for the collection of non-perishable foods.
For more information, e-mail Devery at Jackie@orovalleyparade.org.