The annual Newburyport Santa Parade & Tree Lighting offers all the holiday cheer that’s to be expected of a downtown yuletide celebration – but there’s a twist: In this most nautical of cities, Santa arrives by boat. Honoring the Clipper City’s heritage as the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard, Santa makes his first local appearance waving from a Coast Guard boat on the Merrimack River before docking at the boardwalk for a joyful procession through the downtown area to the traditional tree lighting in Market Square.
Kids and families gather on the boardwalk to await the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at 3:30 PM. Santa then leads the way from the boardwalk to Market Square for the tree lighting at 4 PM. The event features a spirited round of caroling from residents capped with Santa hats as they usher in the holiday season.
Traditionally held on the Sunday afternoon immediately after Thanksgiving, the Newburyport Santa Parade & Tree Lighting is the much-anticipated kickoff of the area’s official holiday season. The nearby town of Salisbury typically hosts its own Christmas tree lighting later on the same day.
Over the next few weeks Santa will pop up at a host of public events in the area, including Amesbury’s annual holiday parade, a series of tours by firetruck (in Byfield, Newburyport, and Salisbury), a very popular Jingle Bell Walk through Ipswich, and a wide variety of storytimes and parties at local libraries and recreational farms.
In early December in Newburyport, Santa takes up residence at his “workshop” in downtown’s Inn Street, offering visits and photos with the kids on Saturdays and Sundays through mid-month. Check the Newburyport.com Events Calendar for the specific days and times.
Enjoy this fun video from UAV Look.