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Milford Getting Ready to Welcome Ol’ Saint Nick

The Milford Department of Public Works plow was decked out for the annual Welcome Santa Parade in 2015. The DPW along with hundreds of other local organizations will be part of this year's parade on Sunday, December 4. The annual event is sponsored by the Milford Permanent Firefighter Association. Harry Platcow photo



Santa Claus is coming to town...to the Town of Milford that is!

The big man himself will be making his appearance on top of a custom sleigh at Milford's annual Welcome Santa Parade held this year on December 4.

Tens of thousands of people will be lining the streets to watch one of Milford's most beloved holiday tradition. The parade kicks off at 4 p.m. from Veteran's Memorial Drive and will travel down Route 16, ending at Veterans Park.

"Everyone comes with their family and friends...it's a tradition," said one of the parade coordinators and Milford Firefighter Ted DePaolo. "It has been the kick-off for the Christmas season for people in Milford for the past 30 years."

Spectators will be treated to a parade of close to 200 hundred floats sponsored by local businesses and organizations, marching bands, dance troops, fire and police vehicles, local officials, Sparky the Dog, and of course, jolly ol' Saint Nick. Trophies will be awarded for "best float" and "best decorated fire truck," which always kicks off some friendly competition by float creators and drums up more and more participation each year said DePaolo.

"I have been receiving many calls over the past three months from people who want to enter floats...a lot more than last year," he laughed.

Downtown roads will start to close at 3:30 p.m. to traffic to get ready for the parade which begins with a two-mile charity race that starts at 3:45 p.m. from the Birch Street Fire Station and continues through the parade route past the excited fans. The Milford Permanent Fire Fighters Association, in partnership with Tri Valley Front Runners, will be hosting the race to benefit the Milford Food Pantry and other local charities. The race is open to all ages and registration can be found on tri-valleyfrontrunners.com.

As in years past, the Milford Fire Department with the help of a number of local businesses will also be collecting donations of unwrapped toys and nonperishable food items along the parade route. "Our community is great about helping those in need," said DePaolo about the amount of food and toys that have been collected through the parade over the years.

And are the months and months of work that is put into planning the parade worth it in the end?

"Definitely," said DePaolo emphatically. "Just to see the smiles on those kids' faces; it is awesome."

"It is one of the best days of the year that we have here in Milford," he said.




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