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Milford Welcomes Santa Back to Town

The man of the hour, Santa, waved to crowd as Milford welcomed him back to town with Firefighters Parade. Harry Platcow photo

Thanks to mild temperatures and clear skies, about 25,000 area residents turned out in Milford to welcome Santa to town. "We think it was our second largest parade in 24 years," said Milford Firefighter Ted DePaolo, who helps organize the event for the Milford Permanent Firefighters Association. DePaolo said the parade included more floats, bands and marchers than usual and the crowds were deep along the Main Street parade route.

Beyond the weather, which DePaolo noted with a laugh that firefighters can't control, he said he felt the large turnout was the result of some hometown feelings. "Everyone seemed to be getting in the spirit of the season this past weekend in hometown way," said DePaolo. "People were out decorating their houses and getting their trees. Watching the parade from their favorite locations topped off the day."

People along the parade route, which stretched from Veteran's Memorial Drive to Draper Memorial Park appreciated the effort that went into the event. "We got thank you's and high fives from those participating in the parade and those along the sideline," said DePaolo. "The community really appreciated what we were doing."

With sirens blaring, lights flashing and holiday decorations twinkling, holiday bedecked fire trucks from as far away as Dedham led the parade. Milford firefighters had their own fleet in the event along with a number of floats and a marching contingent. Besides handling the parade, the local department also dealt with seven incidents during the hour or so it took for the last float to reach Draper Memorial Park. "The department had a busy day," said DePaolo.

Holiday and marching music was provided by all the Milford school bands plus the Hopedale High School band and the Crann Tara Pipes and Drums Corp from Boston.

The highlight of the 24th Annual Welcome Santa Parade was the arrival of Santa himself. St. Nick arrived in style on a large red and green holiday float complete with tiny reindeer created by the Milford Fire Department, the grand finale for the parade.

Although it has just been days since the December 4 parade, the firefighters are already making plans for the next year. "It will be our 25th parade, a silver anniversary, so we have to make it even bigger and better," said DePaolo.


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