By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Saturday, November 24, Walpole held its annual Santa parade near the town common.
The parade began at Walpole High School at 11:00 a.m., with Santa making his way down Common Street before he ultimately ended at his house on Main Street at the town common.
“We all sort of work together to make this happen,” explained one of the organizers of the event and Christmas Committee member Lindsey Rockwood. “It’s a group effort.”
The Christmas Committee has organized the parade for at least 10 years, and the entire community typically comes out to celebrate the holidays and see Santa Claus.“The parade is to bring Santa to town,” said Rockwood. “People love it. Kids throw candy … The center of town gets packed. It’s huge.”
In addition to Santa Claus, the parade also included 20 to 25 other groups, such as the Walpole High School marching band, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, a dance group, and other organizations.
“It gets bigger every year, and this year is going to be a good year for us,” said Rockwood. “It’s going to be awesome.”
There were many different residents of the community in attendance for the parade, most with their families and children.“We love it because we are lifelong Walpole residents,” said Lucille Ruggieri, whose granddaughter was in the parade with her dance group. “My kids came, [and] my grandkids are in it now … Santa comes, and it’s a big hit.”
“This is the nicest weather we have had,” added another Walpole resident in attendance, Kristen DeMayo.
DeMayo had three daughters in the parade, and said that they “look forward to it every year.”
“We have had a couple [of parades] in the rain, so [today is] exciting for [my girls],” she continued. “I am always floored by the number of people … that have come out to cheer everyone on.”
After the parade finished, there was a long line of people waiting to interact with Santa Claus. Overall, it was a great way for the community to come together for the holidays.
“It’s a Walpole tradition,” said Rockwood.
“I am thrilled that the town does this,” added Ruggieri. “I hope they continue to do things like this.”
From December 1-22, Santa’s hours at his house on the common will be Monday through Friday from 3-5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.