Brienna Brinkman, 2 the daughter of Cory and Becky Brinkman from Lima visits with Santa on Sunday at Ottawa’s Memorial Park. Brienna helped welcome Santa during the Welcome Santa parade held in Ottawa that day. She is the granddaughter of Barb Brickner of Ottawa. (Putnam Sentinel/Marlena Ballinger)
Brienna Brinkman, 2 the daughter of Cory and Becky Brinkman from Lima visits with Santa on Sunday at Ottawa’s Memorial Park. Brienna helped welcome Santa during the Welcome Santa parade held in Ottawa that day. She is the granddaughter of Barb Brickner of Ottawa. (Putnam Sentinel/Marlena Ballinger)
OTTAWA - Sunday proved to be a great day for a parade as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus was welcomed to town. The Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 20th annual parade that included many area businesses, fire departments and high school bands.
The parade included over 30 entries all related to Christmas. Chamber members judged the parade entries and chose the top three entries that showed the most Christmas spirit. Grover Hill Riders and Drivers took the ribbon for first place as they decorated the horses and the riders in Christmas garb. The hooves of the horses were even decked out in green and red glitter.

The second place winner was the Performing Arts Center whose float announced that "Santa's got a brand new PAC" in large block letters and the third place winner dominated the show as an Ottawa Oil tanker truck cruised the parade route disguised as Rudolph the Red nosed reign deer.

Parade grand marshals were Barney and Stan Beckman who were escorted through the parade in a carriage and Mr. and Mrs. Claus was escorted in a horse and carriage sponsored by First Federal Bank.

The festivities continued after the parade as Mr. and Mrs. Claus listened to the wishes of many local children who all received a balloon and candy. Local businesses and organizations assisted by feeding the crowd with hot dogs, chili, hot chocolate, cookies and pop.

Ottawa's Memorial park, where the festivities were held, was decked out this year thanks to many area organizations who revived the Christmas lighting by revamping decorations and displaying them throughout the park.

Spearheaded by Jim Heringhaus, the decorations that formerly donned Main Street in Ottawa were modified with new LED, energy efficient lighting. Heringhaus, along with other organizations in Ottawa provided funding and volunteer hours to replace the bulbs and decorate the park.

The organization that assisted include the Chamber, Ottawa Area Kiwanis, Ottawa-Glandorf Rotary, Ottawa-Glandorf Jaycees, Ottawa Lions club, American Legion Post 63, Ottawa Eagles and the Ottawa Volunteer Fire Department.

Amy Sealts, director of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, noted how impressive it was that over 50 volunteers assisted with the park decorating and light bulb swaps. She said the Chamber is always looking for new ideas or suggestions on ways to improve this great event each year.