METHUEN — It was the return of a favorite holiday event as Methuen welcomed back its Santa Parade Saturday.

Crowds lined the streets to watch a long line of marching bands, floats, dance troupes, Scouts, youth sports organizations and fun festive characters walk the parade route, often tossing candy to children as they sat on curbs along the way.

Local businesses were also featured in the parade, joining with the Methuen High School Ranger Band and many others to help welcome the holiday season.

And no parade is complete with the grand entrance of Santa Claus, rounding out the parade lineup and riding atop a Methuen fire truck to greet families along the parade route. The fire truck slowed often to allow Santa to greet children and offer a wave.

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