SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Hundreds of volunteer firefighters and first responders from throughout the state answered the call for assistance from the Somerville Fire Department Saturday night to help escort Santa Claus down Main Street and through the side streets of the borough during the VI annual Holiday Lights parade.

Firefighters began arriving in the borough hours before the start of the 6 p.m. parade, parking their trucks on Veterans Memorial Drive, which served as the staging area. They got busy stringing lights, mounting Christmas inflatables including Santa, the Grinch, Winnie the Pooh, dogs and others and wiring sound systems to giant speakers which helped to fill the parade route with competing Christmas carols.

Families lined the sidewalks to catch a glimpse of Santa and his entourage as it moved along Main Street before wending its way into the side streets and neighborhoods, horns blaring, lights flashing and sirens wailing.

The parade made its way back to the firehouse at the corner of East Main Street and Veterans Memorial Drive where the firemen and passengers in their vehicles warmed up with some hot chocolate.