Annual parade ushers in holiday season
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Jewett City - posted Mon., Nov. 21, 2011
There wasn’t a snowflake in sight – at least, not the kind produced by Mother Nature. Balmy temperatures in the low 60s brought out a goodly crowd for this year’s installment of Jewett City’s Snowflake Festival parade Nov. 20. The warm weather meant that parade-goers and participants wore caps and mittens more as a nod to the season than out of necessity.
A procession of Scouts and school groups, along with floats from local civic organizations and churches, escorted the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, up Main Street to their “throne room” in the Veterans’ Park gazebo. The Clauses arrived in town aboard a horse-drawn wagon pulled by dappled white draft horses from Lisbon Country Stable. Once at Veterans’ Park, the couple settled in for the formidable task of greeting all the children waiting in line for a chance to meet the jolly old elf.
Though the parade itself ended around 4 p.m., “Santa and Mrs. Claus were seated in the gazebo until nearly 6 p.m. to make sure every child had their turn to visit,” said Diana Rose, who helped coordinate the event.
The parade was joined near the end by this year’s entrants in the annual bicycle and wagon decorating contest. Rose said that the contest was open to Jewett City and Griswold children age 10 and under and could include any non-motorized set of wheels. Three winners were selected in each age group. First-place winners received $50 from Jewett City Savings Bank; second prize was a gift basket from Eastern Federal Bank; and third prize was a gift card from the parade committee.
Among the tinsel-encrusted wagons towered a cardboard “gingerbread,” being given its finishing touches by Susan Langlois and her daughter Alexis, 8. “My husband [Matt] was the project engineer, I was the decorator and Alexis was the taste tester,” Susan said of the elaborate structure. “It was a lot of fun – very addicting.”
This year’s contest winners included:
Age 3 and under: 1st-Molly Hustus; 2nd-Payton & Aubrey Cantino; 3rd-Kaylin Fargo.
Ages 4 to 6: 1st-Tristan Dubois; 2nd-Haylee & Shelby Kunkel; 3rd-Weston Gil.
Ages 7 to 10: 1st-Alexis Langlois; 2nd-John Goodwin; 3rd-Ella Gil.