Hawthorne, NJ - On Saturday morning participants lined up to take part in the annual Hawthorne Santa Parade. Hosted by the Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, this year’s parade was one of the largest ever held. Taking place down Lafayette Avenue, crowds gathered to enjoy the sight of participants marching by. Commencing at 10:00 a.m. the festivities included town officials, local businesses and organizations, marching bands, and even an appearance from Santa himself!

Sounds of music and sirens took over the town as participants made their way down Lafayette. Local marching bands and the famous Caballeros filled the air with Christmas songs which added to the atmosphere. Tom C. Carton came all the way from Monroe, NY, to view Hawthorne’s display of holiday spirit. “They have a good turnout despite the early start and cold weather.” Carton said of the parade. Other spectators said that the Santa Parade is a great way to commence the holiday season.

"It's been going on for many years now," said Councilman John Lane who was overseeing the line up at Rea and Lafayette Avenue.  "We tried having it at night, now we're doing it during the day."  To complete the parade, which ended at Diamond Bridge and Grand Avenues, the Caballeros lined the street as Santa and his sleigh made their way to the end. Once the parade had ended, participants and onlookers gathered at the Louis Bay 2nd Library to enjoy performances from the Hawthorne High School Band, complimentary drinks and baked goods, and mingle with their neighbors. This year featured a new addition, an "Ugly Sweater Contest" for the person with the ugliest festive sweater.

"It's a Hawthorne tradition," said Mayor Richard Goldberg.  "We have the tree lighting at night and then the parade the next day.  It's a great day to be a Hawthornite."