Haverhill Santa Parade Brings Holiday Cheer Amid Threat of Inclement Weather

Santa greets Haverhill residents along the parade route in 2017. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News)

Haverhill got into the holiday spirit Sunday, Nov. 19 with the 53rd annual VFW Santa Parade. (Jay Saulnier photographs for WHAV News)

Rain, rain, go away—and it did! Haverhill’s Santa Parade stepped off Sunday afternoon, delighting a crowd of slightly soggy spectators along the route, which received torrential downpours earlier in the morning.

Parade organizers, including City Councilor Tom Sullivan, made the decision Sunday morning to kick off the parade as scheduled despite the intermittent rainstorm.

“The morning showers certainly tried to dampen the spirit of the day but it did not work! The parade went off at 1 p.m. without a hitch and the day was perfect, other than some wind,” Sullivan said. "It turned out to be an incredibly successful event. We want to thank everyone who participated in and attended yesterday’s parade.”

Turnout along the route—from the Bradford fire station to the former VFW building on Kenoza Avenue—was lighter but still strong, said Sullivan.

Fourteen marching bands, marchers and other performers helped Haverhill get into the holiday spirit. As is tradition, Haverhill’s High School and Middle School Marching Band, along with the Sons of Italy Drum & Bugle Corps, helped usher in the man of the afternoon: Santa.

With 2017’s parade in the books, VFW organizers including chairman Daniel Plourde will take a two-month break before planning 2018’s event.