Santa Parade Committee

Committee Work
This small volunteer committee works hard throughout the year to raise money and prepare for the holiday events. Your support throughout the year is what makes this all possible and we can't thank you enough for it. We get great satisfaction with seeing the huge turn out of people for the parade and other events. It's truly awesome to see a majority of the towns people, both young and old, standing in the doors and windows or at the end of their driveway on Christmas Eve, just to wave to Santa. It definitely adds a little more magic to the night.

The committee meets throughout the year on a monthly basis, until about September, when we meet every two weeks or so. New members are always welcome to join the committee and bring new ideas to the table. Please contact us if you have any questions.

The committee would like to thank you all for your support and generosity throughout the year and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Funds


Approximately $16,000 is needed to fund the Santa Committees events. A majority of this pays for bands, costumes and entertainers for the parade and the rest covers the cost of materials and decorations for the square and sleigh. Throughout the year the Santa Committee raises money by organizing fundraisers which have included: an annual golf tournament, the Kelly Miller Circus, Old Home Days duck races and food concession as well as accepting generous donations from private citizens and businesses.

Contact Us


Please contact the Santa Parade Committee members, Arthur Amirault (978) 407-8537 or Loren Clark (978) 265-5329
History
The first Merrimac Santa Parade was in 1949 consisting of a small car, a few marchers and a borrowed trailer with Santa and his sleigh decorated with greens. The parade started at Kimball's barn located to the left of Skip's, went to the square and back.

1950's
Sometime around 1952 or 1953, Masonite reindeer were added to the sleigh. The early 1950's also brought Santa's annual Christmas Eve ride into being. Santa, his sleigh and team of reindeer travel down almost every street in town in just a few hours. Only once, in the late 1950's was the ride cancelled due to road conditions. This is a magical tradition that the entire community looks forward to, both young and old.

1960's
The mid 60's brought the eight reindeer as we know them today and a dedicated trailer for the float was acquired. In 1989, a ninth reindeer was added to the sleigh. Using his shiny nose to lead the team, Rudolph completed the set.

Modern Day

The trailer has been restored over the past few years with new decking, electrical system, sound system, lighting and a restored sleigh. 2009 brings some TLC to the 50-year-old reindeer, including some minor repairs and fresh grooming. Each year the committee prepares and decorates the trailer in late November and breaks it all down for storage just after Christmas.

As mentioned, the Christmas parades started in 1949 and went to 1971 when they were discontinued due to the high expense of the event. For a time bands would march in the parade if they were provided with a bus and a meal at the end of the parade, usually a ham and bean supper. 1984 brought back the parade that we all enjoy today. A lot of the entertainment within the parade today requires a fee for their appearance.

Currently the Committee organizes and raises funds the annual Santa parade, maintains and decorates Santa's sleigh and decorates the town square for the holiday season. One of the highlights in town is for everyone to see Santa throughout this special time. Santa and his sleigh attend the annual Merrimac Light Department tree lighting ceremony held at Kimball Park. Everyone is able to get their photo taken with Santa at a "cookies with Santa," meet and greet, hosted by the Fire Department Couplings in December.