Santa waves to children watching him along the parade route during last year’s holiday event in Mexico. Rumford Falls Times file photo

MEXICO — Not even COVID-19 is going to stop Santa Claus from making an appearance here — but he will be keeping his distance.

The Mexico Firemen’s Relief Association has sponsored the Santa Claus parade the night after Thanksgiving for as long as anyone can remember.

“I’ve been with the department for 44 years, and we’ve done it every year,” Fire Chief Richard Jones said. “And I don’t know how long before that they were doing it.”

The parade will begin at 6 p.m., led by the town’s fire trucks and a utility truck with a trailer hauling Santa and his sleigh.

“I think … our game plan is to set up out back by the gazebo (behind the fire station), and Santa may stay on the trailer so people can come up alongside the trailer and have their picture taken with him, or whatever,” said Jones.

After Santa lights the tree near the fire station, the procession will go down Main Street and turn around near the Far East Restaurant and return to the back of the fire station.

The only thing that’s not going to happen this year is that children are not going to be able to meet with Santa, tell him their Christmas wishes and get a bag of candy.

Instead, organizers are planning to put together a place with candy near the fire station for the children.

“We discussed this,” Jones said. “This (event) is an ongoing thing. They (River Valley Recreation) did the Halloween thing. And the parade — that’s been done for a very long time.”

He asked that people follow COVID-19 guidelines and dress warm.

“Other than department members, no one will be allowed inside the fire station. I’m not taking that chance,” Jones said.

Santa will not fail in this opportunity to bring smiles to children here, “unless it’s real stormy or something,” said Jones. “You gotta do it, y’know?”


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