Annual holiday parade returns to the joy of hundreds

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Santa waves from atop a fire engine during the annual Downtown Associates of North Attleborough Santa Parade, held on Sunday, Nov. 28. The event was held in a more limited format last year due to the pandemic, but returned in a normal format this year. Photo by Mikalah Silver/North Star Reporter Intern

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

A hallmark of the holiday season in North Attleborough saw its big return last weekend.

The Downtown Associates of North Attleborough (DANA) held its annual Santa Parade on Sunday, Nov. 28. In pre-COVID times, the parade drew hundreds of onlookers, floats, marchers from sports and town organizations, and with Ol’ Saint Nick riding atop a fire engine. Last year’s parade was done in a limited format, with just Santa on the fire truck, waving from a podium as people drove by.

But this year the event was back in full force, and a gentle snowfall helped complete the Yuletide scene. DANA President Maureen Merigold described the event as an early Christmas present.

Everyone was so happy with the parade,” she said. “It brings everything together.”

Merigold estimated that thousands of people attended. Among those participating in the parade were the town’s two junior football teams, the Stars and the Jets, both of which recently won state titles, along with their cheerleading teams. There were floats made by the teams, the Edge and Encore dance schools, The Unlikely Strummers, and Cub Scouts, among others. There were also equestrian teams from Big Red Barn and Standard Bred Foundation.

People were saying it was bigger than before,” she said.

The parade traveled through the center of town and ended at Veterans Park in front of Town Hall. Following the parade, there was holiday music at the gazebo, and Santa threw the switch to light the town Christmas Tree. Mark Gilmore served as the Grand Marshal.