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MALDEN PARADE OF HOLIDAY TRADITIONS A BIG HIT

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson leads the 24th Annual Parade of Holiday Traditions Saturday. (Steve Freker)

MALDEN —  Hundreds of Malden and area residents enjoyed some splendid late-November weather and got a large dose of holiday spirit Saturday at the 14th Malden Parade of Holiday Traditions.

   Santa Claus was once again the “star of the show,” sharing the spotlight with the Malden Public Schools, which were represented by floats, marchers and banners from each of the city’s schools.

  Parade goers were greeted by sunny skies and temperatures touching 60 degrees Saturday and the festive event featured four full divisions chockful of everything from all of the city’s school bands to the Malden Police Honor Guard (led by Chief Kevin Molis) and live music provided by Living on a Bad Name, a Bon Jovi cover band.

    Grand Marshals for the parade were Bobby Cobb and Kevin Kyes, co-owners of Total Collision of Malden, which has presented eight completely refurbished motor vehicles at no charge to Fallen Heroes Gold Star Veterans through the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides Program.

    At the formal official city Christmas Tree Lighting on the Malden Public Library lawn, Cobb announced the Ferryway School group as the winner of a $350 donation to its Art Program by having the best float. “It was a tough choice, but the Ferryway School really caught the spirit of the day with its ‘Back to the Future’ design,” Cobb said.

  The Ferryway School created a float consisting of a replica of the DeLorean car used as a time machine in the 1985 “Back to the Future” movie that would have made the film’s main characters, Dr. Emmett Brown and Marty McFly proud.

   “It was a great day for all of our Malden residents, those who participated in the fantastic parade and also those who came out to line Salem Street to see it,” said Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, who led the parade from Maplewood Square to Malden Square, then served as the master of ceremonies at the reviewing stand on Ferry Street.

   The mayor added he was especially pleased at the efforts of the students and staff of the Malden schools in helping make for a great parade, whose theme was “Malden Schools: The Future Begins Here!”

   “The great part of the parade is that all of our schools were represented in this event, which we believe is a first,” said Malden Superintendent of School John Oteri. “We had so many students and staff who did a tremendous amount of work and effort preparing some fantastic floats and displays for the parade. Then today we had great representation with those marching in the parade. Just a big, big positive for the Malden schools.”

  The parade was the keynote event of a busy holiday activities schedule in Malden Saturday which included the official lighting of the city Christmas Tree on the lawn of the Malden Public Library after the parade; the annual Malden High School Alumni Association (MHSAA) Holiday Pasta Dinner at Anthony’s of Malden; and a new-this-year Holiday Tree Lighting at Fellsmere Pond. Malden City Councilor at large Craig Spadafora and his family lives in Ward 3 where the tree is located.

  U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), a lifelong Malden resident, was joined by his wife, Dr Susan Blumenthal, in attending both the Holiday Pasta Dinner by MHSAA and the Fellsmere Pond Tree Lighting.  Sen. Markey also took the time to stop by the Bread of Life’s Thanksgiving Day dinner at Malden High School earlier in the long holiday weekend.

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