Photo By PAULA MULLER
Heather Sinclair and Jordan Sinclair-McCloud and their Grinch buddy on Summer Street in Lynn.
By JACQLYN CULWELL
Every year volunteers from all over Lynn get together to orchestrate the city’s most joyous event — the annual Christmas Eve Parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Jay Walsh, one of the parade’s creative organizers, was accompanied this year on his own boat by his wife Jill, who dressed as Elsa, friend Samantha Martin as Anna, brother-in-law Joe Poverchuk as Kristoff from “Frozen.”
“This is a tradition for many families in this city,” Poverchuk said. “It’s really wonderful to see everyone get together and enjoy the holiday with their family. That’s the best part.”
Hours before the parade began, a sense of anticipation settled over the trucks and floats lined up with participants ready and eager to put on another Christmas Eve spectacular. Mark Maquire, who lives on Summer Street, spends his time watching and handing out free hot dogs to those who are lined up, getting their floats ready.
“Every year I do this. This is my fifth year doing it with my son,” Maquire said. “I remember hearing people saying that they were starving and so I decided to hand out hot dogs. They’re nice and warm and wrapped up, ready to be eaten!”
“Christmas is awesome and this parade is awesome,” Maquire’s 10-year-old son Dylan said, looking around.
Walsh, along with Lynn’s Jordan Avery, made last-minute checks as 5 p.m. — the parade’s starting time — loomed. An unusually warm Christmas Eve contrasted with the trucks and floats, decorated and blasting all kinds of Christmas music.
“Both sides of our family have been doing this forever,” Timmy Walsh said. “Most people will say that it’s just a parade but I find that it really means something.”
Dressed in red and green as a friendly elf, Walsh’s mother, Laurie, accompanied by his niece, Lauren, were stationed at the parade’s front, where they handed out candy, gifts and toys all donated by Kenny Agacinski. Bags of toys were packed into an All-Terrain Vehicle and then handed out to excited children.
“Every year my family and I get together and we come up with these awesome ideas on how to make the parade a great event for the night and for all of the families that sit and watch,” Walsh said. “What happens is this: If you do the parade and you come back the next year, you’ll come back again and that’s what it’s all about.”
Like Lynn, Saugus puts on its own Christmas-Eve parade. And like Walsh, Ken Enos has similar thoughts to share on just what his parade means to him and his town.
“I don’t think of it as something that’s about me,” he said. “I grew up in this town and I love that it can come together. There is nothing but the love of Christmas time. It’s truly about the community because without it, there would be no parade.”
Without the city of Lynn and the ability of all its citizens to congregate and experience the joys of Christmas together, there would be no parade to put on, the parade’s organizers say. And they thanked everyone from Lynn who work hard year after year to provide the people from the city the opportunity to enjoy the parade before going about their celebrations..