EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 23, 2013

Welcoming Santa

Hundreds turn out for Methuen's annual Santa Parade

By Sara Brown

---- — Santa Claus took a break from watching who is being naughty and nice this holiday season and graced the streets of Methuen with a visit yesterday.

Santa smiled and waved to little boys and girls from a shiny Methuen fire truck during the city’s annual Santa parade.

Hundreds came out in Santa hats with their children and pets to celebrate the start of the holiday season, turning the streets of Methuen into a sea of Christmas colors.

“It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit,” Laurie Carlisle of Lawrence said. Carlisle brought her 11-year-old son, Matthew, to enjoy the festivities. “I love this kind of stuff. I already have my tree up.”

The parade kicked off with a band jamming out to some festive holiday classics.

“That was one of my favorite parts of the parade,” Carlisle said. “I am friends with some of the band members. They’re great.”

The day featured many of the talented dance groups within Methuen.

Studio of Dance Arts danced down Pelham Street to Britney Spears’ “Only Wish.”

Interstate Gymnastics and Dance dazzled parade goers as they gracefully whipped around a parallel bar on their float.

“It doesn’t only get you into the holiday spirit but it really shows off town pride,” Emily Franklin said. “We have so many talented people in this town.”

Ms. Essex County tossed candy to children from her red classic Mustang.

Parade goers witnessed snowmen, Rudolph and even the Grinch in action during the parade route.

Carlisle says her favorite part of the parade was the float with the giant gingerbread man dancing on it.

“That was so cute,” she said.

Resident Karen Brown said she enjoyed the float with the Christmas nativity scene come to life the most.

“That was nice to see. That’s what Christmas is really all about,” she said.

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