“This is the longest-running annual event in the city of Haverhill, 49 years and running,’’ Sullivan said. “We’re very proud to hold that distinction.’’
The cost of the parade this year, which involves payments to bands and other performers, is $35,000, organizers said. Several days ago, they were still more than $10,000 short of raising that total. There will be a collection drive during the parade.
“People have to remember the parade is totally sponsored by the public and business community,’’ Sullivan said. The ability of organizers to make ends meet depends on the public and is also “a testament to businesses in the Haverhill area,’’ he said.
Despite adding a special Red Sox tone to the parade, the overall theme of the event will be traditional — “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’’
St. Nick will arrive on the parade’s final float as always, but before him people will enjoy more than 25 other floats and more than a dozen marching bands. The parade marshal will be Dave McGillivray, race director of the Boston Marathon.
IF YOU GO
What: 49th annual VFW Santa Parade
When: Sunday, Nov. 24, starting at 1 p.m.
Where: The parade starts near Hunking School and the Bradford Fire Station on South Main Street (Route 125), continues on South Main Street to Basiliere Bridge, crosses the bridge and goes up Main Street to Monument Square, and turns onto Kenoza Avenue, ending at the VFW.