The “largest Christmas parade in Maine” stepped off Saturday morning at Main and Whitman Streets in Norway with 40 units marching and riding to Market Square in South Paris.
Aaron and Amanda Ouellette, owners of Daddy O’s restaurant in Oxford, served as Grand Marshals of the parade’s 40th year. It was the sixth year the Oxford Casino has sponsored the parade.
John Williams, executive director of the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, said the casino “is a great supporter of the community and a great supporter of what it is we do.”
The Oxford Hills high and junior high school bands provided the music. Fire engines and rescue vehicles from Casco, Harrison, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Paris, West Paris, Woodstock and Poland piped out Christmas music along with siren blasts.
Local and national businesses, Maine Claws mascot Crusher, nonprofit groups and organizations such as Boy and Girl Scouts, churches, SeniorsPlus and a Walmart tractor-trailer heralding the National Wreaths Across America in tribute of the nation’s veterans participated.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were the last in line and sent out continuous declarations of holiday cheers.
Williams said usually between 4,000 and 5,000 people watch the parade. Ashley Buckley of Paris has attended the parade since she was a child. This year’s seemed larger, Buckley said, as she herded her children, Ivy, Mason, Lorrie and Iris, ages 2 to 9, the age group that appeared to be the majority of the parade onlookers.
In addition to the parade, the chamber is holding a Festival of Trees at the Twin Town Plaza. The three-day event continues Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School band marches down Main Street playing Christmas songs in the Norway/Paris holiday parade Saturday. (Brewster Burns photo)
As a bystander takes a video, a couple of Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots go at it during the Norway/Paris holiday parade Saturday. (Brewster Burns photo)
Patry’s Outdoor Power float blows “snow” from a snowblower in the Norway/Paris holiday parade Saturday. (Brewster Burns photo)
A snowman sticks out the side of a Norway firetruck in the Norway/Paris holiday parade Saturday. (Brewster Burns photo)