Go “Home for the Holidays” — or, at least, head to Elm Street and get a taste of home, as Manchester’s Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade celebrates with a traditional, heart-warming theme.
“With soldiers not able to be at home, it’s kind of one of those thoughts,” Sara Beaudry, director of marketing at InTown Manchester, said. “You’ll see in the parade, everything will be based on that theme, and that is kind of a tribute to the men and women that are fighting overseas.”
Beaudry is estimating that the parade will bring in around 40,000 people; it’s the largest one in the state. The parade will begin at the Brady Sullivan Tower on North Elm Street and end on Granite Street.
“There’s always something new and exciting,” Beaudry said. “The [floats] just blow your mind with creativity.”
Right before the parade kicks off, 4,000 runners dressed in Santa suits will take off at 3:15 p.m. for the Santa Christmas Shuffle. Once the last runner has left, the parade will begin.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, along with Granite State Credit Union, will start off the parade.
“[Granite State Credit Union] are really instrumental to this whole day,” Beaudry said of the company that has sponsored the parade for the last 3 years.
Charlie Sherman of New Horizons will be the grand marshal at the parade.
“When we were thinking of who we wanted to marshal the parade, we thought Charlie would be perfect,” Beaudry said. “Charlie was really a natural. What he and his company do in our community is huge, and we wanted to recognize him and his organization for all he does.”
Sherman will ride in a convertible provided by Bonneville and Son.
This year the parade will feature some new and some old groups. Rock 101 and WGIR AM610 will be there. Some other participants in the parade are the New England Brethren of Pirates, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Middle School at Parkside, Muchachos Drum and Bugle Corps and Queen City Cupcakes. The Manchester Animal Shelter will have a float with horses and dogs. There will also be multiple Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops with floats, as well as a float for Pop Warner. Overall the parade will have more than 80 participants, according to Beaudry.
“The effort that is put into these floats is amazing,” Beaudry said. “The fact that they take the time is fantastic, and the community really loves it.”
The Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m.
Appeared in the Dec. 5, 2013 issue of the Hippo