Thanksgiving is done, and that means the kick-off of the Christmas season. In North Andover, today that means the Santa Parade.
Here are five things to keep in mind:
1. Where/When: The parade will assemble at about 11 a.m. at North Andover Middle School and start its march down Main Street at noon. the parade will proceed down Main Street to Elm Street, to Water Street and back onto Main Street, and it will end at the intersection of Main Street and Sutton Street. Unlike last year -- when it was almost 75 degrees during the parade -- it's expected to be cold outside so dress for winter.
2. Grand Marshall: This year, the parade will have a Grand Marshall, Selectman Don Stewart. Grand Marshall Stewart will be riding in a convertible at the front of the parade.
3. Float Contest: This year will have something new -- a float contest. Floats participating in the parade will be judged and awarded various place ribbons. There will also be participation ribbons.
4. Senior Center Holiday Fair: The Senior Center -- which is along the parade route -- will have its annual Holiday Fair today as well, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be parade “warm up food” and have tables for selling knitted goods, jewelry, books, white elephant and bakery items. So stop in and check that out while you're there. Santa will visit and pose for photos with children at the Senior Center as well.
5. Small Business Saturday: Today is also Small Business Saturday. So while you're out in town for the parade, make sure to stop by some of North Andover's small business and do some shopping.