Last year's annual Santa Parade leaders

Last year, Santa had plenty of help from the Town of Wilmington and a snowfall for his annual Santa Parade. This year's parade is Sunday, Dec 6. Due to COVID, there will be no stops, but the elves will be collecting donations along the route. Residents can pass toys, food donations, and letters to the troops to Santa's elves as the parade passes through town. (courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — Wil­mington’s Santa Parade will take place this year with some new adjustments and all the same the fun. The event takes place Sunday, Dec. 6 be­ginning at 9 a.m. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves will ride through town for eight hours delighting children young and old. They are collecting toy and food pantry do­nations as well as letters for military troops.

There will be holiday music, singing, and dan­cing. Residents are invited to participate with do­nations, cheers, and waves as the floats pass by. The parade will not include any stops this year. So­cial distancing and mask guidelines apply. Santa and the rest of his crew will wear masks and gloves.

“Since there will be no stops this year due to COVID, we will be collecting items along the route,” explained Karen Grabowski, one of San­ta’s volunteer elves.

Residents are asked to pass their food and toy donations or letters for the troops to the elves on the second A&S Towing truck float in the parade line-up.

“If they are not comfortable with passing them to us, we understand,” she ad­ded. “They can set them down on the ground, and our elves will be hap­py to retrieve them.”

Residents also have the option of dropping them off at the Wilmington Pub­lic Safety Building.

Volunteers from around town make this grand event possible. Toy donations will go to Wilming­ton children in need through the Wil­mington Fire De­part­ment's Toys for Chil­dren Drive. The town food pantry will re­ceive the food collected.

The parade route is published in great detail on the event Facebook page, Wil­mington MA San­ta Pa­rade. People can check out the route be­forehand in a Nov. 28 post and receive updates through­out the day using this social me­dia platform.

At 9 a.m., they begin at Metro Apartments by the train station. Between then and 1 p.m., they will move through areas that include Main Street, Eames Street, Lucci’s, West Street, Mid­dlesex Avenue, Wilmington Plaza, Mass Avenue and Glen Road.

At 1 p.m., Santa plans a break. At 2 p.m., they continue cruising through many other residential neighborhoods. The Wil­mington MA Santa Parade Facebook details show Fe­deral Street, North Inter­mediate School, and Ava­lon West among the leng­thy route description. The pa­rade should end at Main Street at approximately 5:15 p.m.

A portion of the parade will be dedicated to Thom­as William Devlin, Massa­chusetts State Trooper 1st Class, of Wilmington, who passed away at his home on Sept. 3, 2020. He died from injuries suffered when he was struck by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop on Route 3 in Billerica on July 26, 2018.

The Santa Parade Face­book page reminds everyone that the safety of the volunteers and the public coming out to see the “big guy” is paramount. Incle­ment weather and road conditions could change the route and timing of the pa­rade. Published times are approximate as traffic conditions may also im­pact the parade.

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