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Kendra Blaisdell, 7, awaits the Wolfeboro in Christmas parade on Saturday. Her favorite part of the parade is Santa. (LARISSA MULKERN/Union Leader Correspondent)

Wolfeboro Chamber's Christmas parade rings in the season

WOLFEBORO - The holiday season officially began on Saturday afternoon as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in the Christmas in Wolfeboro parade.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus joined the First Night Wolfeboro giant puppets, members of the Kingswood Regional High School band and about a dozen other parade participants to ring in the season.

Several hundred onlookers braved the crisp and windy conditions to watch this holiday tradition. The Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce hosts this annual event, where area merchants and businesses participate by staying open longer, or handing out treats, such as free hot chocolate, to passersby.

Lisa Lee of Cross Insurance and her daughter, Kasey, manned a hot chocolate stand before the parade began.

"We have been doing this for years," said Lisa, adding that she expected to dispense a couple hundred cups of hot chocolate during the day. Nearby, Carrie Glidden of Freedom waited for friends and relatives with 7-year-old Kendra Blaisdell of Wolfeboro. Glidden arrived early for the parade in order to grab a good vantage point - and Kendra was ready with her Christmas list for Santa. A lava lamp topped the youngster's wish list.

Besides Santa, the First Night Wolfeboro puppets marched in the parade for the first time. The team includes several Jack-in-the-Box-themed puppets.

Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce Director Mary DeVries said a total of 15 floats or teams marched. She said the Christmas tree, about 20 feet tall, features more lights than last year, thanks to a donation from Bradley's Hardware.

"By the looks of things today, spectators were ready for this today. People are looking forward to kicking off the season."

Downtown businesses will celebrate on Dec. 8 with an open house from 1 to 4 p.m.



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