Business owners and Howell investors Joe and Becky Parker are the 2016 Grand Marshals of the Fantasy of Lights Parade. The Fantasy of Lights is Friday, Nov. 25 in downtown Howell.
The Grand Marshals are selected based on their contributions to the city. The Parkers own the Heart of Howell and Frontal Lobe in downtown Howell, and are know for their generous charitable contributions to an array of organizations. With the Heart of Howell, the Parkers have made a substantial investment in downtown. Joe Parker’s vision’s resulted in a multi-million dollar project that took three under-used-but-historic buildings, and combined them into one magnificent, multi-use facility.
The idea for the investment started with the purchase of one building, but quickly escalated to three. Tenants include Your Peace of Mind on the top floor, SoulShine Yoga and the Loft on the second floor, Silverstone Jewelers and Encore 118 on the street level, and 2FOG’s Pub, owned by the Parkers and currently being expanded in the lower level. The Heart of Howell was recognized with an Architectural Investment Award at the 2015 Howell Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.
The Frontal Lobe, located next to the Dairy Queen is the first coworking facility in the county and was also developed by the Parkers.
“The Parkers are such an asset to the chamber and the entire community,” said Pat Convery, president of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce. “Their family, including their two daughters and grandchildren are rooted and committed to this community and downtown Howell.”
The Parkers moved to Howell in 1989 and have raised their two daughters, Courtney and Brooke, here. Joe Parker found himself investing in business and real estate in and around Howell, but it was when his daughters convinced him to invest in downtown that the Parkers truly devoted themselves to the city’s growth.
With Becky Parker’s absolute love of winter, the Fantasy of Lights Parade is one of her favorite holiday traditions. The Parkers are honored and thrilled to be the 2016 Grand Marshals, but are most excited to have their five grandchildren on the Grand Marshal float with them for the parade.
“They are going to absolutely love being in the parade,” said Joe Parker about his grandchildren. “Becky and I are so honored to be named the 2016 Grand Marshals.”
The 33rd annual Fantasy of Lights is hosted by the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Activities begin at 4 p.m., followed by the Fantasy 5K at 6 and the start of the parade at 7. Major sponsor of the Fantasy of Lights is Cobb-Hall Insurance. Supporting sponsors are Citizens Insurance and Blue Care Network of Michigan. Champion Automotive Group is the Fantasy 5K Platinum Sponsor. Other sponsors include LOC Federal Credit Union, Christmas Alley; and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital, Santa and Reindeer.