Holiday season opens with annual Santa parade

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Piper Dyke, 3, of Mexico, with Salena Berry, covers her ears to block the sounds of sirens from the firetrucks in Friday’s parade in Mexico as she waits for Santa to pass her in his sleigh.

Andre Breton, 4, of Rumford, shares an important moment with Santa Claus on Friday at the Mexico Fire Station before being presented a bag of candy. The annual event was sponsored by the Mexico Firemen’s Relief Association.

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Rylee Cyr, 4, of Mexico, looks deep into the eyes of Santa Claus, performed by David Saphier on Friday at the Mexico Fire Station before being presented a bag of candy. The annual event was sponsored by the Mexico Firemen’s Relief Association.

Autumn Freeman drives Mexico Fire Department’s old Engine .5 during Friday’s annual Santa parade in Mexico. Used in parades for years by retired firefighter Ray Broomhall, the machine had been out of commission for 10 years until repaired recently by Bill Brown.

The holiday season in the River Valley officially got underway Friday with the annual Santa Claus parade in Mexico.

MEXICO — Under cool but calm skies, the holiday season in the River Valley officially got underway Friday with the annual Santa Claus parade.

Children and adults lined Main Street as firetrucks from Mexico, Rumford and Dixfield ran sirens that preceded the arrival of Santa Claus in his lighted sleigh on a trailer hauled by a utility vehicle.

Also making an appearance was Mexico Fire Department’s old Engine .5, driven by Autumn Freeman. Used in parades for years by retired firefighter Ray Broomhall, the machine had been out of commission for 10 years until repaired recently by Bill Brown.

A firefighter also walked the route, passing out candy to the children.

About 100 children with their parents and grandparents lined up inside the Mexico Fire Station to meet ol’ Saint Nick, performed by David Saphier.

Seated in a recliner, Santa met each of the children, sometimes individually and sometimes two or three siblings at a time. Often, children conveyed their Christmas wishes.

After the brief encounter, each visit concluded with a photo taken by one or more adults armed with a camera phone before Santa presented the child with a bag of candy.

The event was sponsored by the Mexico Firemen’s Relief Association.

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

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