Arts & Culture Community Event Notices

40th North End Christmas Parade

The annual North End Christmas Parade was held on Sunday, December 19, 2010, a week later than usual due to bad weather last weekend. This is the 40th year for the parade, sponsored by the North End Athletic Association. Santa made his dramatic entrance from the sky in a helicopter. After touching down on the ball field at Puopolo Park, Santa posed for some photos and launched the parade on Commercial Street and into the streets of the North End. Joining Santa was Rudolph, the elves, Disney characters and the Bruins’ Blades, handing out candy and balloons. Joining the parade was the Aleppo Shriners Clowns, The Boston Firemen’s Band, The Wilmington High School Band, Tony Barrie Italian Band, Saint Alfios Band of Lawrence, the Roberto Clemente Twirlers and the Massachusetts National Guard Marching Unit. Also on hand were State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and City Councilor Sal LaMattina. This year’s 40th Celebration is in memory of James Pallotta.

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View more from the photo gallery. (Photos by Matt Conti.)


11 Replies to “40th North End Christmas Parade

  1. My family and I, who drove more than 700 miles from out of town to visit Boston, were returning down Fleet Street from an enjoyable lunch in the Italian district when we unexpectedly came across this parade. Initially it seemed like a pleasant encounter but soon became the single most negative incident of our entire Boston visit when one of the mini tractor trailer drivers blasted a real truck air horn within a couple of dozen feet of our location which was a narrow set of streets surrounded by buildings. My 11 year old son was scared to tears. My wife's as well as my own ears hurt for the remainder of the afternoon and evening because of this ill conceived act.

    My family and I have spent more than a week in Boston and, with this one exception, found Boston to be a delightful city to visit. However, the next parade I encounter I plan to run the other way as I value my hearing as well as my son's well emotional being. I expect that my son will never want to attend a parade in Boston or any other city for years to come.

  2. People of all ages have enjoyed this annual parade for 40 years and this is THE FIRST time anyone has made such a negative comment about the Christmas Parade. Here is my response: BAH HUMBUG Gordon Scrooge.
    By the way, you better not visit the North End ( or as you call it "The Italian section") aka Little Italy during the month of August when all the feasts occur, or during professional soccer season, especially if Italy is playing and OH YEAH…avoid Boston altogether especially Back Bay on New Years Eve, Southie for St. Patricks Day, then there is the Gay Pride Parade and the Boston marathon and Red Sox games and Bruins games and Celtics games and the Patriots SUperbowl Championship parades and the July 4th celebration on the Esplanade all of which can get really loud and raucous. So maybe you should consider only visiting and dining in one of the museums so your sensitive mid-western ears don't get a booboo from the loud celebrations Bostonians enjoy.

  3. Sorry, but I don't see the need for nastiness and heavy sarcasm directed against a tourist, especially right before Christmas. Why does anyone need to blast an air horn in a parade? People can express their opinion about it. The man said that that otherwise they found Boston delightful. That's high praise.

  4. Heather: And I don't see the need for you to mount a personal attack against me in response to my comments. I was being sarcastic for sure but far from nasty. I would respond the same to a North End resident who complained about the noise from the parade and /or who wants the Feasts to be banned. Get over it. The airhorn Is and has been part of the parade. Its not like the Sorry but a momentary blast from an airhorn did not deserve the NASTY comments made by this guy . Its not like someone walked up and pointed it in the ears of that tourist family. Yikes!

  5. I agree with both Gordon and Heather. While observing the parade yesterday there was an air horn that blew really really loudly. My ears hurt as well as my daughter went crazy. My daughter cried for 10 minutes and wanted to leave the parade. A lot of kids these days have sensitive ears and even the flushing of some of the public toilets you will see kids hold their hand over their ears. I think Joyce's comments were very sarcastic and uncalled for. For people who want to hear when they get older they should not be subjected to these kind of loud noises. I think that Joyce needs to have a few kids with sensitive ears to understand the damage this does to kids. We don't go out to all the parades or to the fireworks or to the movies because they blast everything in your ears. Going down the street to an unexpected parade and hearing this air horn was not pleasant. I would gladly give you the opportunity to comfort a child that is scared out of their wits.

    No they didn't have to point it into someones ears. They should be outlawed. They are way too loud. And if you had read the guys comments you would have heard that he thought the parade was pleasant until that stupid air horn went off.

  6. Penny: Yes I was being sarcastic but I really don't care if you and heather don't think my comments were called for or not. I have a right to express my opinion. FYI I did read his comments. I still <<don't agree with him>>. Airhorns are loud but legal. Sorry but parades are loud. If people don't like it, they shoudon't go to any of the events I listed. Sarcastic but true and too bad if you and Heather don't like it.

    <<Everyone, please attack the issue, not each other. TY, Matt>>

  7. I didn't go to the parade. I happened to be walking along the street to go to another location. And as I said I generally skip a lot of the loud events due to my daughter's sensitive ears. It is sad that we have to continue to do damaging tones to our ears with little concern for its lasting effects.

  8. I am somewhat disappointed that so much chatter is happening over one incident and a person's right to comment. What about the rest of the parade that no one is talking about? This was my first time visiting that parade and found it to be quite festive. The organizers were very pleasant, the bands sounded great, the horses were beautiful, the elves cute, Santa was in high spirits and the rest of the participants did their part to make the event worth watching for a close community and visitors from out of the area. I look forward to coming back next year.

  9. I'd like to add that the cannon the goes off in Charlestown every sun up and sun down is also surprisingly loud. My 4-month old (and myself) gets startled if we are trying to take a Harborwalk, and then the "boom" comes without warning. It's making me a litle nervous to take walks, which are important to my sanity with an infant! Does anyone know if there's anything that can be done about this?

  10. @Melinda:Cannons on the USS constitution will not be stopped. A newcomer complained that the cannon was waking up her guests too early and a whole big thing took place last year. I believe the Commandant at the Charlestown Navy yard did do something to try to alleviate the issue but lets get realistic. You are talking about a revolutionary war vessel that has been doing this since long before you or I was born. The only thing that can be done is for you to not walk on the waterfront at dawn or dusk. Maybe you walk on the Harbor or Greenway in the direction of Rowes Wharf if you are going to be out close to when the cannons will go off. I live close to the harbor and most of the time I don't even hear it but occasionally it scares the bejeesus out of me and it causes neighboring dogs to bark in five part harmony. It goes off every day, twice a day . I think the Boston City Council even passed a resolution in support of the status quo. If you search this website for the USS Constitution you can read about the Council's resolution and other related articles.

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