hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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November 21, 2013

Santa Claus is coming to town ...

…And so is the Red Sox Bootmobile

The holidays are right around the corner.

Turkey dinners with the family gathered around the table. Parties with friends and co-workers. Gift exchanges capped off by the arrival of Santa.

As if that’s not enough, the Red Sox won the World Series for the third time in the last decade.

What’s that got to do with the holidays?

It will be front and center at this year’s annual VFW Santa Parade, which will wind through Haverhill on Sunday, Nov. 24.

As thousands of people from Haverhill and neighboring communities pack the parade route for the city’s biggest social event of the year, the parade will feature the huge Red Sox Bootmobile— possibly with a player from the team on board. It is the same vehicle that was part of the Red Sox rolling rally in Boston after the team won the championship.

City Councilor Thomas Sullivan, a longtime parade organizer, said this year’s parade committee is working to get a Sox player to join the festivities in Haverhill to give the event a special sense of excitement. The bootmobile is designed by the LL Bean company.

But even if a Red Sox player is not in the parade, there will be plenty for people to enjoy, both along the route and in Haverhill’s neighborhoods, where the tradition of family parties will continue, Sullivan said.

“It’s a day when families and friends get together to gather along the route and at people’s homes,’’ he said. “It’s a big party day. Many people who have moved away return just for this day to see their friends and family.’’

Sullivan is proud of the tradition of the parade, which was founded by his father, the late John Sullivan, who organized it for many years.

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