COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Hundreds of neighbors and strangers, superheroes and Santa Claus will turn out to give Brody Allen a Christmas parade on Sunday afternoon. And Brody’s father couldn’t be more grateful.
When they got the diagnosis that their 2-year-old son with brain cancer would likely not live to Dec. 25, Todd Allen and his wife decided to move their family's Christmas up to September, and support has been pouring in from across the Tri-State.
We’ve already seen Brody’s Colerain Township yard filled with Christmas lights and inflatables and dozens of people singing Christmas carols. Now the 2-year-old will be the grand marshal of his own Christmas parade along Springdale Road from Northgate Mall to the Colerain Township Administration complex.
"Overwhelmed. Just grateful. Could've never expected that,” Brody’s father told WCPO on Saturday. “To see our whole community become family so quickly … to have so many people reaching out … saying prayers, well wishes … stopping by to say, ‘You're not alone’ … means the world to us."
Dozens of supporters gathered in Northern Kentucky Saturday for a benefit for Brody’s family. They decked the hall at the Florence Elks Lodge with lights and trees and wreaths.
The calendar says it’s not even Halloween yet, but the spirit of the people inside said otherwise.
"It's Christmas,” Allen said. “There's no better magical moment ever. Especially for a child. For our family, it has special meaning."
Allen said Brody’s diagnosis came a few months ago.
"I've learned to not expect anything. I'm just grateful for everybody to come out, especially in the rain. Just excited," Allen said.
And come, they did. Saturday’s event featured a silent auction, live music and a raffle.
"I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone,” Allen said. “For all your prayers, wishes, cards. And helping carry our family through this.”
Sunday’s Christmas parade starts at 4 p.m. It will include floats, motorcycles, police cars and fire trucks. Attendees are asked to bring Christmas cards to support Brody and signs to wave along the parade route.
Staging for the parade will take place behind the Sears at Northgate Mall.
A family-friendly party and fireworks show will follow the parade.
If you're going, Colerain police want you to know what’s planned:
- 4 p.m.: Parade leaves Northgate Mall (Springdale Road entrance).
- 5:15 p.m.: Parade ends at the Administrative complex.
- 8:30 p.m: Rozzi Fireworks display at the Administrative complex.
- No alcohol is permitted on the grounds and no onsite parking is available.
A shuttle will run from Sears at Northgate Mall to and from the event. Visitors are asked not to park in the neighborhoods surrounding the Administrative complex.
- Springdale Road will be closed between Flattop Drive and Yellowwood Drive
from 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 8:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Allen family will privately celebrate Christmas Eve on Monday and Christmas the following day.