As the sound of Christmas classics filled the air and little La Porteans lined the streets, Santa and several of his helpers marched in the 2017 La Porte Santa Parade.
The parade has been La Porte’s way of welcoming the holiday season for years, and, per usual, the Christmas spirit was at an all-time high. Hundreds of people found spots on Lincolnway to watch members of community organizations and businesses wave in the parade. Each float had a different holiday theme, and the crowd cheered as each one drove by.
Erin Haverstock has brought her sons, Jonah and Kyler, to the Santa Parade for the past four years, and it remains a strong tradition in her family.
“I think events like this help bring the community together, and it helps give us something to look forward to. The parade is something different than I’ve seen in any other town, which is really cool for the kids,” Haverstock said.
The incredibly creative floats brought the magic to the streets of La Porte, just as the parade has done in years past.The variety of floats kept the audience engaged, as each float represented a different aspect of the holiday. For example, dozens of Girl Scouts rode in a gingerbread house and passed candy to those watching the parade.
Despite the lack of snow, the Michiana Ice Carver Association made downtown La Porte seem like a winter wonderland as they carved ice sculptures on their float during the parade. The artists made reindeer and a sled while their float made its way to the end of the parade.
Relay for Life’s float included a classic depiction of a living room during the holidays, which included a fully-decorated tree and fireplace.
The pièce de résistance of the parade, though, was the La Porte Fire Department truck that carried Santa Claus himself through downtown La Porte.
While a lot of attendees, like Haverstock, had attended the event in the past, several newcomers rang in the holiday season at the parade as well. Stephanie Corey and her family attended the parade for the first time this year, and they thoroughly enjoyed the event. Her son Matthew, who is two-and-a-half years old, was all smiles as each float passed him.
“[The parade] is a great event. It’s fun, it’s cute, and it’s good for the kids. I think it’s really good to get the community involved, get the kids out to see new things, and it keeps people out of trouble,” said Corey.
After the parade, families could meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus in Santa’s Chalet located in Plaza 618. A long line of eager kids snaked its way through the plaza, but the kind employees of Centier Bank made sure everyone stayed warm with hot cocoa and warm apple cider.
La Porte’s 2017 Santa Parade marked the beginning of a great holiday season and exemplified the true meaning of Christmas.
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