Although the man in red got top billing at the Santa Parade, what's a parade without floats?
The crowd that came out Sunday to kick off the Christmas season was treated to several floats created by schools, businesses and other organizations throughout the community.
Most of the floats centered around this year's parade theme, the Shoe-la-bration, while all had the Christmas spirit.
Before the parade started, the carefully crafted floats were studied as event judges picked the day's best.
Whittier Tech's float, depicting Dogs in Shoe Town, won the grand prize of the day for the best original float. Its flat bed was decked out with moving parts, cartoon pooches and extensive holiday decorations.
Whittier Tech won the same honor during the 44th annual parade last year.
Awards were also given out to first and second place winners in the business, school and individual categories.
The Sacred Hearts School took first place in the schools division with its Sole Train float complete with a smoking and bubbling train engine. The second-place school float was created by the Merrimack Montessori School.
Crescent Yacht Club won the first-place award for the individual category with their Wizard of Oz float complete with a giant pair of Dorothy's iconic ruby slippers. Second place in the individual category went to STARS, , who were also inspired by Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man.
Cedardale Health and Fitness was awarded first place for the business category. Its float featured a Shoeville Sweet Shoppe, a Shoeville Fitness Center and several people dressed as elves tossing candy to the crowd. The second-place business float was created by Pentucket Bank, which featured a flat bed with two Soles of Haverhill shoes, the old woman who lived in a shoe, and the bank's CEO Ken Smith wearing Mickey Mouse-esque gloves and a Christmas tree hat.
Best Original Float
Grand Prize: Whittier Tech
Most Original/Creative Floats
First-Place, Business: Cedardale Athletics
First-Place, School: Sacred Hearts
First-Place, Individual: Crescent Yacht Club
Second-Place, Business: Pentcucket Bank
Second-Place, School: Merrimack Montessori
Second-Place, Individual: STARS