Holiday parade held in Florence, toys collected for local schools

Hampshire County

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Northampton.

Hundreds gathered in Florence Saturday morning, for the 29th annual Florence Civic and Business Association Holiday Parade.

“It’s the way we celebrate the start of the holiday season,” said Mike Flynn, parade organizer. “It started out as a tiny little parade but it’s really grown into a pretty good size one. There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the streets and a lot of enthusiasm with the marchers, it’s a lot of fun.”

“The kids get to see Santa ask him for whatever they want and it just gets the holiday spirit going,” Linda Bushey, a Florence resident told 22News.

Though small in size, parade organizers told 22News it’s the Florence community that has a big impact on the success of the parade.

“They’re always looking to do something for others they’re always looking to make sure everyone has what they need and that sense of community isn’t as prevalent in this world anymore so I think that’s what makes this one special,” said Tom Mccusker. 

Though the parade was about the holidays, it was also a time to salute veterans. Because Northampton didn’t hold its annual Veterans Day parade earlier this November, the parade organizers made sure the Veterans weren’t forgotten.

The parade’s theme and annual button were in honor of the Veterans who served.

“There’s a huge veteran’s presence within the Northampton community,” Mccusker added. “I think it’s fantastic they’re doing this. We’re not leaving you behind, we didn’t do the parade this year but we wanted to honor you anyway.”

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