BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — As she does every year, Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Troubetaris will take part in the annual Beverly Holiday Parade.
The big difference this time is that she won’t have to walk.
Troubetaris, who is retiring after 22 years on the City Council, will be riding as the grand marshal of the 66th annual parade Sunday. The parade starts in the Cummings Center parking lot at 1:30 p.m. and heads through the downtown, including past City Hall where Troubetaris has served for so many years.
“I’m humbled and honored, and a little surprised,” she said of being named grand marshal. “My family’s looking forward to it.”
Troubetaris has been on the City Council since 1992, making her one of the longest-serving public officials in the city’s history. She decided not to run for re-election and will leave office in January.
“As it gets closer, I get sadder,” she said. “I think I’m going to have a little bit of a hard time pulling away. It’s been a way of life for 22 years. You just can’t drop it. But I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and going on vacation.”
At 66 years and counting, the Beverly parade is one of the oldest continuous holiday parades in the country, according to organizers.
This year’s parade will include bands from Beverly High School, Salem High School and Briscoe Middle School; several floats and the mini-trucks operated by the Shriners Kora Log Rollers of Maine.
Among the floats will be the “Mac and Cheese Box” float by the First Baptist Church Middle School Fellowship. Middle-schoolers from the group will be collecting food donations for Bootstraps as they travel along the parade route.
Santa will bring up the rear riding in a Mustang convertible provided by Thomas Ford.
From the Cummings Center parking lot on Elliott Street, the parade proceeds along Elliott Street, Cabot Street, Broadway, Rantoul Street and back onto Elliott Street to Cummings Center.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.