58th Annual VFW Santa Parade Picks Up Donations, Invites Floats and Participants to Join Nov. 20

Covanta Area Asset Manager Mark Van Weelden, VFW Santa Parade Committee members Ralph T Basiliere and Daniel P. Plourde Sr., chairman, and Covanta Facility Manager William Zaneski. (WHAV News photographs.)

Organizers of the 58th Annual VFW Santa Parade are still piecing together private donations to pay for the annual event even as they worry last year’s ugly sweaters seem a bit snug this season.

With this year’s Santa Parade theme being “Santa’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party,” committee Chairman Daniel P. Plourde Sr. and member Ralph T. Basiliere donned their “ugly” sweaters when they collected a donation at Covanta Haverhill.

“Without sponsorship from these good folks here at Covanta, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish this task. The parade is completely funded by donations from the public, various fundraisers and by corporate sponsorship,” said Plourde.

Covanta Facility Manager William Zaneski said he is pleased to pledge the company’s continuing support for the tradition over the next five years.

“We want to be part of the community and be good citizens in the community. So, anything we can do to help out—whether it be the Santa Parade or the veterans—is always at or near the top of our list of things we want to help contribute to,” he said.

Besides donation, the Lorraine Post 29 VFW Santa Parade is also looking for participants and floats for the Sunday before Thanksgiving event. That’s where Covanta Area Asset Manager Mark Van Weelden also comes in.

“We’re just pleased to not only help with the funding, but also participate. Our employees look forward to it every year, put a float in. A couple of years ago, I think we got second place before COVID so we’re aiming for first place this year,” he said.

Applications for floats and antique cars and a form to make donations may be found at haverhillsantaparade.com.

The parade takes place Sunday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m., with professional rugby player Cameron “Cam” Davidowicz serving as grand marshal. It begins at Caleb Dustin Hunking School and runs along Route 125, crosses Basiliere Bridge, turns left onto Merrimack Street and right onto Emerson Street. The procession ends on Ginty Boulevard. Shuttle buses donated by NRT is available to move between the beginning and end and vice versa.

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