‘Candyland Christmas,’ 59th Annual VFW Santa Parade, Sunday, From Bradford to Downtown

Students in many Whittier Tech pathways contributed to the design and creation of a float for the Lorraine Post 29 VFW’s 58th Santa Parade in Haverhill. (Courtesy photograph.)

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The 59th Annual VFW Santa Parade, themed “Candyland Christmas,” takes place this Sunday.

Before Santa makes his appearance, parade onlookers will be greeted by Grand Marshal Erin Erler of Cakes by Erin and view a variety of marching bands and other entertainment.  VFW Santa Parade Committee Chairman Daniel P. Plourde Sr. told WHAV there are almost twice as many floats in the parade this year.

“We have considerably more floats than normal this year and there seem to be a lot of businesses entering their floats which is probably because businesses are just doing better and things are changing, or have changed since COVID, so it’s great publicity for them. They also make a donation to our cause which is lovely for us,” he explained.

Plourde, who is in his ninth year as chair, said the parade tends to cost about $40,000 annually.

For the public the parade begins Sunday, Nov. 19, running from Caleb Dustin Hunking School, along Route 125, crossing the Basiliere Bridge, turning left onto Merrimack Street, then right onto Emerson Street and ending on Ginty Boulevard.

All marching bands and floats form after 9:45 a.m., on school grounds at the Winchester Street side-entrance off Fernwood Avenue. The exit is only from Revere Street and from the front South Main Street gate.

Before streets close at about 12:15 p.m., Driscoll Funeral Home is again offering parking in its expanded lot behind 309 S. Main St., Bradford. Those taking advantage of the convenience are asked to bring a canned good or make a donation to the Angelo Petrozzelli Food Pantry at Sacred Hearts Parish. Restrooms will be available.

A complete list of participants and floats appears on this story at WHAV.net.

PRE-PARADE DIVISION: Devin Willette and Zach Ewing, Organizers

All fire engines, antique cars and emergency vehicles assemble at Cumberland, Edmund and Kensington Avenues. This division steps off at 12:55 p.m.

  • Haverhill Fire Department Color Guard & Officers
  • Fire Engines from across Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire
  • Trinity Ambulance and other Emergency Vehicles
  • American Red Cross Vehicle
  • The Salvation Army Vehicle
  • Broco Oil Veterans Truck
  • Hoffman Auto School
  • Wicked Jeeps of New Hamshire
  • Antique & Specialty Cars

FIRST DIVISION: Dan Plourde, Sr. Organizer

The first division forms at the Bradford Fire Station and unless otherwise indicated below. The first division steps off promptly at 1 p.m.

  • 59th Annual VFW Santa Parade Banner “Candyland Christmas”
  • Haverhill High School Jr. ROTC Color Guard and Unit
  • Grand Marshal Erin Erler, Cakes by Erin
  • Lorraine Post 29 VFW Comander
  • Haverhill District Council Veterans
  • Amvets Post 147 Color Guard
  • Amvets Post 147 Commander Richard Burnell
  • 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
  • Northern Essex Community Police
  • City and state officials

 SECOND DIVISION: Danielle Graham, Organizer

  • Opportunity Works Float
  • Tilton Elementary School
  • New Liberty Jazz Band
  • Haverhill Freemasonry Float
  • Junior Miss Hampton Beach
  • Pentucket Bank Float
  • Sponsored by Pentucket Bank Banner
  • Salem High School Marching Band
  • Wicked Axe Float
  • Moody Preschool Float
  • The Great American Marching Band
  • artlett School & Assessment Center
  • Affordable Restaurant Equipment Float
  • The Dance Works
  • The Neighborhood Float
  • The J.G. Whittier Drama Club
  • Gould’s Junk Removal Float

 THIRD DIVISION: Andrew Plourde, Organizer

  • Sponsored by Covanta Banner
  • Georgetown Royal Lancers High School Marching Band
  • Haverhill Youth Soccer
  • Haverhill Fire Department Float
  • Haverhill Garden Club
  • King Grace Church Float
  • Sponsored by Crescent Farms Banner
  • The Clan MacPhearson Pipes & Drums
  • Cub Scout Pack 63 Float
  • Last Hope K9 Rescue
  • NRT Bus Float
  • Ocasio’s True Martial Arts, Inc.
  • Beverly High School Marching Band
  • Crescent Yacht Club Float
  • Hunking Bobcat Cheerleading
  • Sacred Hearts School Float
  • Bradford Country Club Golf Tournament Winner Float
  • Sponsored by Bradford Country Club Banner
  • Londonderry High School Lancers Marching Band

FOURTH DIVISION: Dan Plourde Jr, and Kevin Bolduc, Organizers

  • Betsy Conte Food Drive
  • Haverhill Lions Club
  • Greenleaf Academy Float
  • Haverhill Girls Softball League Float
  • Reading High School Marching Band
  • Consentino NJHS Float
  • HCS Accessibility Solutions Float
  • Plaistow BSA Troop 18
  • New Magnolia Jazz Band
  • Nots Barber Shop Float
  • G’s Restaurant Float
  • Greater Haverhill Pentucket Youth Hockey
  • UNH Winterguard
  • VFW Santa Parade Donation Float & Collectors
  • Laps 4 Backs
  • Academy Lanes Youth Bowling League Float
  • Karla Pattivina’s Dance Academy

FIFTH DIVISION: Jessica Plourde, Organizer

  • Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School Float
  • Corey Tree & Landscape Float
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Marching Band
  • Haverhilll Recreation Department Youth Lacrosse
  • Haverhill Hitman Float
  • New Life Haverhill Float
  • Premier Marshal Arts
  • Asociacion Carnavalesca de Massachusetts
  • Alicia Studio 13
  • Elite Cheer Athletic & Training Float
  • Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line
  • Santa Claus Jazz Band
  • Bella Ballerina Merrimack Valley
  • RE/MAX Main Street Associates Float
  • Haverhill Jr. Hillies Football and Cheerleaders Float
  • Haverhill Middle/High School Band
  • Sponsored by Haverhill Bank Banner
  • Santa Claus Float

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