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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
The first day of December is typically considered the first day of the Christmas season. Parents hand their kids Advent calendars. People rush to farms to get their Christmas trees and decorate them with lights and ornaments. Children begin to write their letters to Santa Claus.
On the last day of November, Walpole ushered in the Christmas season with a parade dedicated to the big man himself.
Kids, parents, grandparents, and friends were all lined up along the parade route, ready to see Santa and get some candy. Starting from Walpole High School, a fleet of vehicles left and traveled to the town common. Led by a police car and fire trucks, vintage cars, public work vehicles, and local businesses, cars made their way to deliver Santa to his destination and throw some candy to the crowd along the way.
Local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts traveled on foot along with other organizations. On the back of a large truck bed sat some of the town’s cheerleaders, each one wearing a classic Santa hat, who threw candy by the handfuls. One car from a local business was decorated in a fuzzy white beard with a red Santa hat on top. Other cars were decked out with tinsel, ribbons, wreaths, and baubles galore.
Kids standing on the sides of the parade eagerly awaited for each vehicle to throw candy. “I got Rolos!” shouted one kid as he handed them to his mom. Upon seeing that his friend had no candy from the first few throws, one boy handed him a handful of Reeses peanut butter cups and Snickers.
The final vehicle was a horse-drawn sleigh holding Santa himself. As soon as the kids could hear the click-clack of hooves, they knew Santa was just seconds away. “IT’S SANTA!” yelled one kid to his siblings as they ran as close to the barrier as they could. Together, they watched as Santa got out if the sleigh and walked to his hut on the common.
Before he could even sit down, kids were lining up to get their chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Siblings Luke, 5, and Hailey, 3, gave Santa a necklace before asking for Pokemon cards and a Paw Patrol Look Out Tower. Another girl asked for a teddy bear while talking to Santa. One shy boy approached Santa for the first time and asked for a Lego set, all of his shyness vanishing when Santa smiled at him.
The excitement of Santa seemed to make everyone excited for the next holiday, still a long month away. Parents and kids both seemed energized at seeing Santa and the start of Christmas. With a little holiday cheer already in their system, there’s no telling how the next 24 days are going to go.