Merrimack rings in the season with annual parade
MERRIMACK - Decked out in Santa hats and bundled in blankets, hundreds of people lined the streets Sunday to get a glimpse of Santa and Mrs. Claus during the town's annual holiday parade.
The celebrity couple sat atop an antique sleigh and excitedly waved to fans as they traveled along the Daniel Webster Highway in a haze of fog and a sea of smiles.
Children of all ages were eager to participate and watch the parade, which included more than 20 local groups and organizations.
"This is just so heartwarming," said Sherry Kalish, director of the Parks and Recreation Department. "It brings all of the families together to kick off the holiday season."
Kalish said she was pleased with the great turnout for the parade, and she commended all of the various businesses and organizations that were eager to get involved. Dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts marched in the parade, along with the Merrimack High School band, dancers from the Belinda Bridgeman Academy of Dance, local police, fire crews and more. The theme for this year's parade was "Holiday Season - A Time for Paws and Reflection," prompting many parade participants to bring their four-legged friends to the celebration.
"We do this every year, and we always look forward to it," said Terry Woods of Advantage Insurance, a local business that volunteered to pull one of the parade floats. "I feel that the parade is the official start to the Christmas season."
Following the parade, which was organized by the Merrimack Parks and Recreation Department and the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, many of the attendees gathered at Abbie Griffin Park for the traditional tree lighting ceremony. Children also had the opportunity to sit on Santa's lap, deliver their Christmas wish list and get their photographs taken.
Holiday carols were sung, and local residents joined Santa to count down the lighting of the town's Christmas tree.
"This is such a fun and overwhelming event, and it is even bigger and better this year," said Deb Courtemanche, executive director of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce.
The parade and tree lighting ceremony brings together local businesses, nonprofit groups, schools and more, according to Courtemanche, who said it is a festive way to enjoy the first weekend of December. "It is really every single entity in our town coming together to celebrate," she added.
READER COMMENTS: 2
- Siege Day launched at Pinkerton; students gain hands-on experience with hommade catapults - 0
- Middle school student's mom says principal used chokehold - 18
- School board suspends driver's ed program in Manchester, will probe source of $180k deficit - 2
- Manchester middle school principal placed on leave - 2
- Lebanon begins search for new school superindendent - 0
- Inventor excites Manchester fourth-graders with math, science possibilities - 0
- Nashua officals tour technical education center - 0
- City fourth-graders to meet entrepreneur Dean Kamen - 0
- No 3-day weekend for kids in Manchester school system - 5
READER COMMENTS: 1
- GT Advanced Technology attorney hoping for Apple agreement today to allow more openness in bankruptcy court - 0
- Nashua caretaker wants evidence suppressed in sexual assault case - 0
- Former coach from Nashua charged in sex assaults claims confession was involuntary - 0
- NH highways have potentialy deadly guardrail end pieces, transportation commissioner says - 0
- Neighbor won't be charged in shooting death of Rumney chiropractor - 11
- Staples says it is probing possible payment card data breach - 1
- Manchester police: Ga. man stole truck in Mass. to visit mom in NH - 0
- South African Olympian Pistorius sentenced to five years in girlfriend's murder - 0
- Expect the unexpected in NHIAA field hockey tourneys - 0
A series of sharp exchanges at 2nd CD debate
Murder-suicide ruled in Fremont deaths
Keene police working to identify rioters, notify other colleges of students' participation
Locked in a dead heat, Shaheen, Brown spar