Concord Christmas Parade set for Saturday

New Hampshire Patriot Guard Riders participate in the annual Concord Christmas parade on the Heights on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ
New Hampshire Patriot Guard Riders participate in the annual Concord Christmas parade on the Heights on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ
The Concord High School marching band and color guard walk in the annual Christmas parade on the Heights on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.  (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ
The Concord High School marching band and color guard walk in the annual Christmas parade on the Heights on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ
The Stove Barn Santa Claus float is seen in the annual Concord Christmas parade on the Heights on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ
The Stove Barn Santa Claus float is seen in the annual Concord Christmas parade on the Heights on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ

We don’t want to get you too excited, but Santa is coming – this Saturday.

That’s right, jolly old Saint Nick will be making a much-anticipated appearance in Concord well before the big day (and Thanksgiving) and it’s all thanks to the 66th annual Concord Christmas Parade.

Santa is always a big draw for the Concord holiday tradition and that’s why he’ll be on the final float of the day, just to ramp up the anticipation. Some of Santa’s elves will make the journey south to collect letters for Christmas from little boys and girls to be placed in Santa’s mailbox on his float, so make sure to bring them. But the big guy in the red suit isn’t the only thing you should look forward to during the annual parade.

Floats and vehicles will be decorated with Christmas fun, as this year’s theme is centered around traditional holiday colors – red, white and green. Even though its more than five weeks before Santa actually makes his way into your house to leave presents under the tree (if you’ve been good), this is a great way to get you in the holiday spirit.

Marching bands from Concord High and Merrimack Valley High School will participate, as will the school band from Bishop Brady performing on a flat bed. The N.H. Pipes and Drums organization will also take part, which means there will be plenty of musical entertainment.

Floats will begin organizing at 8 a.m. in the Department of Transportation parking lot on Hazen Drive with all other vehicles getting ready at 8:30 a.m.

“Usually we have so many (floats), so it takes a while to get organized,” said organizer Dick Patten.

The parade officially kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and will take a left out of Hazen Drive – across from Airport Road – and follow Loudon Road to the area of Old Loudon Road (around Steeplegate Mall). Right near that intersection, a stage will be set up infront of the Stove Barn at 249 Loudon Road where you can enjoy three-minute performances from local dance schools and more. A review stage will be located at CVS (157 Loudon Road) and is where the many awards will be decided and handed out for the best commercial and noncommercial floats, and newest, oldest, farthest traveled and most decorated vehicles.

“We present the awards during the parade,” Patten said.

The parade will likely last an hour and a half to two hours.

And if you’re just finding out about the parade for the first time right now, you can still signup to enter a float or decorated vehicle. All you have to do is email Patten at dickpatten7@gmail.com and he’ll help you get registered. Just remember, “there can only be one Santa in the parade,” Patten said. So no imposters.

For more, visit sites.google.com/view/ concordgrange/parade.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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