EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


July 22, 2013

Christmas in July? Santa Parade organizers start push for floats, donations

HAVERHILL — It’s probably the last thing on our minds as we bake in the sweltering heat of July.

The Christmas season, Santa and his annual parade in late November.

But organizers of the city’s annual VFW Santa Parade are asking the public to begin thinking now of float ideas for the parade.

The organizers have released the theme of this year’s parade, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’’ Even though the event is four months away, they are urging participants to create floats that will fit this year’s theme — without actually having Santa on their floats.

“There is only one Santa Claus, and he appears at the very end of the parade,” said parade chairman Roland Plourde, talking about the tradition that St. Nick shows up on the last float in the event. “So put on your thinking caps over the summer and come up with floats that reflect the theme, but without Santa riding on your floats.”

All floats entered in this year’s 49th annual VFW Santa Parade, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 24 are asked to reflect this year’s parade theme. Plourde said it will require float organizers to get creative because “nobody is ever allowed to put their own Santa Claus on their float.”

City Councilor Thomas Sullivan, parade vice chairman, said there have not been any past incidents of duplicate Santas on floats, although there have been several requests.

“We’re asking people to think outside the box and figure out a way to depict floats that show preparations for Santa’s arrival,” Sullivan said. “Maybe it’s reindeer getting ready to fly, or Mrs. Claus making Christmas dinner for when Santa returns, or a family decorating their tree and getting the children ready for bed as they eagerly await Santa’s arrival.”

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