SWAMPSCOTT — The town is getting into the holiday spirit.
The Swampscott Police Association (SPA) will host its annual holiday parade on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m., which will include an appearance by Santa Claus and coincide with the town’s holiday festival and tree lighting.
The parade will be dedicated this year to Abby Maguire Rogers, a Swampscott teacher who died unexpectedly in September, and will also recognize Cathy Kalpin, another Swampscott educator, according to Ted Delano, SPA president and a detective with the town’s police department.
Over the years, Rogers and Kalpin dedicated countless hours to Toys for Local Children (TLC), the recipient of the main donation effort of the parade.
SPA has hosted the parade for more than a decade, according to Delano. Funds raised will go toward SPA to offset the cost of putting on the event, but people are encouraged to donate toys along the route, which are collected by uniformed officers and turned over to TLC.
Delano said there’s lots of misconception that people in Swampscott have the finances for whatever they need.
“At the end of the day, we’re trying to help out kids in need or families that need an assist during this holiday time,” Delano said. “There are families in our community that do need a helping hand and we’re thrilled to be a part of helping them out.”
The parade starts at Swampscott High School and ends at Town Hall, and coincides with a holiday festival at Town Hall from 5-8 p.m. The festival is organized by Danielle Strauss, the town’s recreation director. The tree lighting ceremony is at 6 p.m.
As part of the festival, a flashlight candy cane hunt will be held at Linscott Park at 5:30 p.m. The event will also include music, electronic train rides, bounce houses, holiday crafts and a gingerbread house display that is part of the town’s seventh annual gingerbread house contest.