“It’s the spirit of Christmas, the start of the shopping season, which starts here in earnest,” he said. “Even if there’s a snowstorm, we’d be here.”
The Vaccaros’ son Colby, 7, said he likes the parade for the balloons. Evan, 13, said he likes seeing the floats, “especially the last one (with Santa) because it’s the best decorated.” This year, they even brought Maggie, their golden retriever, for her first parade.
“It’s not Macy’s, but for the North Shore, this parade is good for everyone,” Vacarro said. “But it’s really for the kids. I mean, we gotta see Santa Claus.”
Betty Peabody, 56, of Danvers claimed her spot on the northeast corner of Rantoul and Elliott a full hour before the parade began, wrapping herself in a thick, brown blanket and sitting in her lawn chair. This was her fourth year coming to the same corner for a chance to wave at her grandson, who was marching with Pack 49 of Beverly’s Cub Scouts.
“I get to see the parade twice from this spot, at the beginning close to where it starts (at the Cummings Center) and at the end as it comes up Rantoul,” Peabody said. “It’s really community-related because it brings people outside to cheer others on. Oh, and to see Santa, of course.”
Some of the bands and entertainment in the parade are underwritten in part by Beverly businesses. While some performers are free, others charge and are paid through the fundraising efforts of the parade committee, a volunteer group composed of seven to eight people who live or work in Beverly but that could always use more help, Kelley said. BevCam also filmed the parade and will broadcast it in the coming weeks.
“The parade brings the town together,” Novack said. “It gives everyone a chance to take pride in their community and to prepare for the holidays.”