Getting Real With Wanda Morrissey

For me, the Santa Claus Parade marks the start of the holiday season and this past weekend it was held in our town.  On Saturday, my husband and I bundled up ourselves and our 2 year old and headed for the parade. I packed snacks, bottled water, I even remembered to grab the camera (I forgot it last year) and spare batteries. I wanted pictures for the scrapbook.

Our apartment building is about a five minute walk from the start of the parade route. We left at 9:30am. I wanted to leave earlier, we left at the same time last year (or so we thought) and had had a hard time finding a spot. We rushed toward our destination thinking that we’d have a struggle to find a spot again but when we crested the hill looking over the starting area, there were only a handful of people to be seen. Did we miss something?  Had the parade route been changed?

No, there were a few floats lined up on a side street.  I was sure that the signs throughout town stated that the parade started at 10:00am and they were the same signs as last year. We chose a spot next to another family, that way if we were in the wrong spot we wouldn’t be the only ones who looked foolish. We watched as police officers gathered but it was nearing 10:00am and still the road hadn’t been closed to traffic. I kept looking at my watch, 10:05, 10:10, 10:15am and still no parade. At 10:20am a parade volunteer walked past. The lady next to us asks “Is Santa running late?” I guess she was thinking the same thing I was.

It was then we discovered our mistake – the parade wasn’t starting until 11:00am, the road closures started at 10:00am. Should have paid more attention to the signs. I was just glad we weren’t the only ones to make that mistake.

Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, people started showing up in swarms. It got really busy, really quickly but at least we had a good spot. At 11:00 sharp the Town Crier announced the start of the 100th annual Newmarket Santa Claus Parade.

We were really cold by the end of the parade and I was glad I’d remembered snacks, our son was getting restless towards the end, but it was worth it. My husband sat our son on his shoulders so he could see Santa when he passed.  Hearing him yell “Hi, Santa” and “Ho ho ho” and seeing the joy on the faces of the children around us made it all worthwhile. I would wait for an hour and a half out in the cold again tomorrow just to see the pure, untarnished joy on those kids faces.

Oh, as for me wanting pictures, yah, it was a no go. The batteries in the camera died after taking two pictures and the spare batteries were dead as well.  Maybe next year.