Haverhill’s Annual VFW Santa Parade Is Sunday: Get Details on the New Route!

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

The Santa Parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News)

It’s officially the week before Thanksgiving, and Haverhill residents know what that means: The annual VFW Santa Parade is getting ready for a stroll down South Main Street on Sunday, Nov. 18.

This year, the holiday hotsteppers—including local politicians, bands and floats—are taking a different route after the 1 p.m. kickoff. Carrying the theme of “Miracle on Merrimack Street,” the 54th annual parade will still begin at Bradford’s Hunking School and make its way over the Basiliere Bridge, taking a left turn into the downtown district, Committee Chairman Daniel Ploude tells WHAV.

“The parade will leave the fire station as it always has. It will travel down South Main Street, over the Basiliere Bridge and then turn left on to Merrimack Street. All the way down to Washington Square and then turn right onto Emerson and disband at the Boys (and Girls) Club on the corner of Emerson and Bailey,” Plourde said.

Free parking is available at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main St. (opposite Northpoint Bible College) for attendees who bring a canned good or make a donation to the Sacred Hearts food pantry. To accommodate parade staging, portions of Bailey Boulevard will close around 10:30 a.m. Streets in and around the parade route, including Merrimack Street, are expected to close at approximately 12:20 p.m.

2018 TENTATIVE PARADE ROSTER

• Fire Engines from across the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire
• Trinity Ambulance and other Emergency Vehicles
• American Red Cross Vehicle
• Antique & Specialty Cars
• 54th Annual VFW Santa Parade Banner “Miracle on Merrimack Street”
• Haverhill High School Jr. R.O.T.C. Color Guard and Unit
• U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp
• Lorraine Post 29 VFW Commander Keith Gopsil
• Plaistow NH Police Department Honor Guard
• VFW District Commander
• Haverhill District Council Veterans
• Amvets Post 147 Color Guard
• Greater Haverhill Korean Veterans Association
• Hannah Dustin Chapter 20 Disabled American Veterans (DAV) & Vehicle
• U.S. Marine Corps League
• Essex County Sheriff’s Department Color Guard and Marchers
• Haverhill Police Department Color Guard & Officers
• City & State Officials
• Hallamore Clydesdales & Hitch
• STARS Special Olympics Float
• Pentucket Bank Sponsorship Banner
• Reading High School Marching Band
• Pentucket Bank Float
• Masons of the 11th Masonic District Marchers
• Golden Hill Elementary School Marchers
• Middlesex County Volunteers Fife & Drums
• Brookridge Community Church Float
• Miss Massachusetts – Gabriela Tavares
• Mt. Washington Alliance
• New Magnolia Jazz Band
• REMAX Main Street Float
• Whittier Birthplace Sleigh
• Haverhill Youth Soccer
• Salem High School Marching Band
• Haverhill Alternative School - TEACH Float
• All That Jazz
• Hot 96.9 FM
• Money Blanket Banner
• Black Tie Limousine Sponsored Trolley
• Golden Borough Productions – Elf on Stilts
• VFW Santa Parade Donation Collection Blanket, Costume Characters & Collectors
• Haverhill Beef Sponsorship Banner
• Haverhill High School/Middle School Marching Band
• Haverhill High School Float
• Haverhill High School – VIP
• New Liberty Jazz Band
• Sacred Heart School Marchers
• Local Rock Talk Float
• 105.7 WROR Car and Marchers
• The Dance Works
• Bradford Country Club – Golf Tournament Winners
• Sponsored by Bradford Country Club Banner
• Londonderry NH High School Marching Band-sponsored by Bradford Country Club
• Tilton Elementary School Float
• Tricia O’Neil - #fillatruckfundraising
• Pentucket Lake School Marchers
• Haverhill Downtown Boxing
• Beverly High School Marching Band
• Whittier Regional Technical High School Float
• Betsy A. Conte Food Drive Vehicles & Cub Scout Pack 63 Marchers
• NH Shriners Clowns
• Design Her Eyes Car and Marchers
• Wingate Residences/Healthcare
• Golden Bough Productions - Asociacion Carnavalesca
• YMCA of Northshore Float
• Methuen High School Marching Band
• Methuen Festival of Trees Truck
• South End Dynamite Baton and Cheer Team
• Roland Poor Jr. Float
• Immaculate Heart of Mary
• Consentino Cheerleaders and Honor Society
• Copperhead Saloon and Pub Float
• Sax Pack
• King of Grace Car & Marchers
• LAUNCH METHUEN Float
• Georgetown Royal Lancers Marching Band
• Ocasio’s True Martial Arts
• Hunking Middle School Cheerleaders
• Sons of Italy Drum & Bugle Corp.
• Santa Claus Float-sponsored by Haverhill Bank