© Paul Hutchings
Darren Williams handles the conducting duties on the Deer Lake Search and Rescue’s float, a replica of the train from the movie "Polar Express" during the Deer Lake Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
DEER LAKE — Santa Claus visited Deer Lake over the weekend as the town held its annual Christmas parade at night for the first time in its history.
Leaving from Elwood High at 5 p.m. Saturday evening, the parade included floats from local organizations like Deer Lake Search and Rescue, the Deer Lake Chamber of Commerce and Peterbilt Trucks, to name just a few. In all, over 30 floats and attractions, including police and emergency services vehicles, took part.
Snow flurries started just as the parade hit Main Street and spectators were bundled up against the sub-zero temperatures, but there was no mistaking the smiles, which practically glowed in the darkness. The children seemed to like it best.
“I love it at night, I think it’s a great idea,” said 10-year-old Tyson Curtis. “The lights look better at night and it’s easier to see them.”
Nine-year-old Amber Laite said the brightness of the lights against the dark made her look forward to Christmas even more and seven-year-old Michelle Harvey said it seemed logical to have a Santa Claus Parade at night.
“Santa Claus comes to our homes at night,” Harvey said. “That’s when he goes around giving everyone presents, so seeing him at night here is good.”
Seven-year-old Katie McNeil didn’t seem to have an opinion about night or day for the parade.
“They give out treats,” she said. “They pass out candy to us so that’s good.”
Some spectators complained that it was a little harder to take pictures during a night parade, but overall those asked said they enjoyed it and hope to see a night event next year.
Pasadena will hold its parade next weekend.