LYNN — Since most people watch the Annual Christmas Eve Parade from streets and sidewalks and driveways, there are a lot of things they don’t get to see.
After 31 years, the parade still lined the streets of Lynn with candy, but I don’t think people realize how much candy is actually prepared for the four-hour cruise through the city. I am talking buckets of sweet treats that are getting refilled every hour.
I felt a cavity coming on just by looking at it all (or by eating five candy bars because I couldn’t help myself).
Another thing I don’t think parade-watchers realize is, while you may love the Moana-themed Disney songs and that horribly catchy “Baby Shark Dance” tune, it is not fun hearing the same songs on loop every 20 minutes. I found myself still singing “Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo,” on Christmas morning and my family did not seem very pleased.
And now, we move on to the potholes. Lynners know what is up with the potholes throughout the city but there is nothing like being on a boat-turned float and feeling as though your head may disconnect from your body after each one you hit.
I was grateful for the tips and tricks that the Walsh family gave me after graciously allowing me on their family float for the evening. Six years of organizing the city’s biggest holiday event and Ward 7 City Councilor Jay Walsh still lights up with a smile when Christmas Eve finally arrives.
The merriness traveled to his family as his wife, Jill, eight-year-old daughter Jayla, sister-in-law Margaret Marston, eight-year-old nephew Conor Poverchuk, and two-year-old nephew Evan Poverchuk were chucking candy left and right. I could tell they have been doing it for years as their candy-throwing arms hit almost every target.
I, on the other hand, was quite disappointed in myself (Sorry to anyone who may have gotten hit with a bag of candy Monday night).
One thing was for sure though, I had never seen so many smiling faces in the city at one time. I saw people dancing, singing along (of course we played Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas Is You”), and running out of their homes so they wouldn’t miss a single float. For anyone who grew up in the city and moved away (like myself) and is eager to see old friends, I highly recommend you take part in the parade because there isn’t a face you won’t see.
Not only did I have the honor of spending my Christmas Eve with the Walsh’s and the Poverchuk’s, but Chuck E. Cheese, Helen Henny, Maui, and Moana as well. I’m not sure there is anything that could have topped that.
Growing up in Lynn, I have always looked forward to the Annual Christmas Eve Parade. Now that I have seen all the hard work that gets put into making sure the city has a great show, I have a much higher appreciation for it.
Although next year I may hold off on being in the parade (my hands and feet are still freezing), I will be able to watch the city’s holiday event with pride, knowing all the love that went into it.