Focus on Heroes as 55th Annual VFW Parade Marches Sunday

A scene from the 2010 VFW Santa Parade. (Courtesy photograph.)

Whittier Tech students completed a large metal statue of the school’s mascot, a wildcat, that will be featured in the school’s float at the Haverhill VFW Santa Parade on Sunday. (Courtesy photograph.)

“Santa Celebrates Haverhill’s Heroes” Sunday when the 55th Annual VFW Santa Parade moves through Bradford and downtown Haverhill.

Veterans, police, firefighters and other emergency responders take center stage Sunday, between 1 and 4 p.m. They include representatives of various veterans’ organizations, Navy, Marines, Haverhill and Plaistow, N.H., police departments and Essex County Sheriff’s Department.

The annual parade kicks off with motor power, featuring fire engines from across the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire, Trinity Ambulance and other emergency vehicles, American Red Cross Vehicle and antique and specialty cars.

Plenty of schools are represented, including Haverhill High, Tilton, Methuen High, Golden Hill, Greenleaf Academy, Beverly High, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Londonderry High, Consentino, Hunking, Salem High, Nettle, and Reading High.

In all, there are five divisions of dignitaries, floats, bands and cheerleaders. It begins at Hunking School on South Main Street at 1 p.m., continues down 125 over the Basiliere bridge and takes a left onto Merrimack Street. It will march downtown to Washington Square and take a right onto Emerson Street, ending at the Boys and Girls Club.

Pre-Parade Division

  • Fire Engines from across the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire
  • Trinity Ambulance and other Emergency Vehicles
  • American Red Cross Vehicle
  • Antique and Specialty Cars

First Division

  • 55th Annual VFW Santa Parade Banner “Santa Celebrates Haverhill’s Heroes”
  • Haverhill High School Jr. R.O.T.C. Color Guard and Unit
  • S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp
  • Lorraine Post 29 VFW Commander Keith Gopsill
  • Plaistow NH Police Department Honor Guard
  • VFW State Commander Jeff Najarian
  • Haverhill District Council Veterans
  • Amvets Post 147 Color Guard
  • Greater Haverhill Korean Veterans Association
  • Hannah Dustin Chapter 20 Disabled American Veterans (DAV) & Vehicle
  • S. Marine Corps League
  • Essex County Sheriff’s Department Color Guard and Marchers
  • Haverhill Police Department Color Guard & Officers
  • City and state officials

Second Division

  • Hallamore Clydesdales & Hitch (Wood)
  • Wingate Residences at Haverhill (Wood)
  • Tilton School Float (Hunking)
  • The Great American Marching Band (Hunking)
  • Masons of the 11th Masonic District Marchers (Wood)
  • STARS Special Olympics Float (Hunking)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary (Hunking)
  • Broco Oil Veterans Truck (Rte 125)
  • Vietnam Veterans Commission Float (Hunking)
  • Ocasio’s True Martial Arts (Wood)
  • Whittier Birthplace Sleigh (Wood)
  • Intrigue Boston Heart Ent Company (Wood)
  • Pentucket Bank Float (Hunking)
  • Pentucket Bank Sponsorship Banner (Hunking)
  • Georgetown Royal Lancers Marching Band (Hunking)
  • Salvation Army (Wood)
  • Cedardale Health and Fitness Float (Hunking)
  • The Dance Works (Wood)
  • Miss Hampton Beach 2019 & Miss Junior Hampton Beach 2019 (Wood)
  • Sax Pack (Hunking)
  • Roland Poor Float with the HC Media holiday bell (Hunking)

Third Division

  • Methuen High School Ranger Marching Band (Hunking)
  • Sacred Hearts Parish God Squad Youth Group (Wood)
  • Refined Roofing LLC Float (Hunking)
  • UNH Winterguard (Hunking)
  • Haverhill Education Association (Wood)
  • Elf on Stilts (Wood)
  • VFW Santa Parade Donation Collection Blanket, Costume Characters & Collectors (Wood)
  • Greenleaf Academy Float (Hunking)
  • Golden Hill Elementary School (Wood)
  • Beasley Media Group 102.5 WKLB & Rock 92.9 cars (Wood)
  • World Wide Custom Seat Covers Float (Hunking)
  • Golden Bough Productions – Asociacion Carnavalesca (Hunking)
  • Haverhill Youth Soccer (Wood)
  • Haverhill Hitman Football Team Float (Hunking)
  • NH Shriner Clowns (Wood)
  • Beverly High School Marching Band (Hunking)
  • Betsy A. Conte Food Drive Vehicles & Cub Scout Pack 63 Marchers (Wood)
  • Haverhill Downtown Boxing (Wood)
  • Whittier Regional Technical High School Float (Hunking)
  • Class of 1979 Car and Marchers (Wood)

Fourth Division

  • Bradford Country Club – Golf Tournament Winners (Hunking)
  • Sponsored by Bradford Country Club Banner (Hunking)
  • Londonderry NH High School Marching Band-sponsored by Bradford Country Club (Hunking)
  • Laps4backs (Wood)
  • Haverhill YMCA Float (Hunking)
  • New Liberty Jazz Band (Hunking)
  • A.B. Consentino School Cheerleaders and Honor Society (Wood)
  • Haverhill Beef Sponsorship Banner (Hunking)
  • Haverhill High School Float (Hunking)
  • Haverhill High School Cheerleaders (Hunking)
  • Haverhill High School/Middle School Marching Band (Hunking)
  • Modern Woodman Float (Hunking)
  • All That Jazz (Wood)
  • Ozzie’s Kids Float (Hunking)
  • Ayer Shirley Regional School District Band (Hunking)
  • Sacred Hearts Float (Hunking)
  • Hunking School Cheerleaders (Wood)
  • Design Her Eyes Car (Wood)

Fifth Division

  • King of Grace Church Float (Hunking)
  • Salem High School Marching Band (Hunking)
  • RISE Movement Studio Float (Hunking)
  • Nettle Middle School Cheerleaders (Wood)
  • Just Church (Wood)
  • Just “Nots” Xmas Float (Hunking)
  • Middlesex County Volunteers Fife & Drums (Hunking)
  • Mimi Johnson Studio Teardrop Trailer Float (Hunking)
  • US Spyder Ryders Merrimack Valley Chapter (Hunking)
  • Karla Pattavina’s Dance Acacemy (Wood)
  • Four Points Property Management Float (Hunking)
  • Reading High School Marching Band (Hunking)
  • New Life Christian Assembly of God Float (Hunking)
  • Washington Alliance (Wood)
  • Haverhill Firefighting Museum (Hunking)
  • Sons of Italy (Hunking)
  • Santa Claus Float-sponsored by Haverhill Bank (Hunking)

There’s also more information at

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