SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 2, 2013

Santa in the spotlight

Beverly Holiday Parade showcases floats, bands, jolly old elf

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — BEVERLY — Wearing decorative holiday hats, Angelina Quartarone, 9, and her brother Chase, 5, anxiously waited at the corner of Cabot and Abbot streets for the parade to begin yesterday afternoon.

In their hands were letters addressed to “Santa.”

“It’s my list of what I want for Christmas,” Angelina said.

Their mother, Crystal Quartarone, who grew up in Beverly, said it is a family tradition for them to come to the parade every year, even though they now live in New Hampshire. This year marked the city’s 66th annual Holiday Parade.

“They like to give their letters for Santa to the mailmen,” Quartarone said. “I always come. It is a pretty good parade compared to others.”

People lined Cabot Street wearing Santa hats, reindeer antlers and other festive attire before the parade stepped off at the Cummings Center at 1:30 p.m. The rain held off as People’s United Bank sign showed an outside temperature of 42 degrees.

The parade was ushered in by a Beverly fire truck, then a police cruiser. The parade included participants from Danvers, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport and Salem.

“The candy is coming,” yelled one young boy as the parade approached.

Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Troubetaris, who is retiring after 22 years on the City Council, served as the grand marshal. See smiled and waved from the back of a pickup truck.

Mayor Bill Scanlon, who is leaving office after 18 years, smiled as he marched with other city politicians and officials.

This year’s parade featured 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.

Gina Marsella, who has lived in the city her whole life, came with her young daughter, Sam Vaccaro, and her parents, Carol and Gerry Marsella.

“I just like bringing my daughter,” she said. “She loves to see Santa and the candy.”

She said the best part is seeing Santa, who appeared at the end of the parade in the back of a red pickup.

“That is always the best part,” Gina Marsella said. “And the floats with the kids; those are always cute.”

Beverly resident John Cotoia seemed to know almost everyone at the parade as the different groups approached. He was there with his wife, Tara, daughter Isabella, 3, and niece Kayleigh Graham, 15.

“I grew up here,” Cotoia said. “It just brings the community together. You get to see people you haven’t seen in a while.”

Isabella’s favorite part?

“Santa,” she said to Cotoia when he asked her.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at jphelps@salemnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.