It was a clear blue sky when Santa arrived by helicopter on Sunday afternoon to kick off the 44th Annual North End Christmas Parade. There was fun for all ages with three marching bands playing holiday music as the parade moved from the North End Park on the waterfront into the neighborhood streets. Costumed characters took pictures with the kids while the Shriners brought their muskets, motorcycles and fire brigade. Of course, it’s not a parade without antique cars and fire trucks. The parade is dedicated in memory of James “Jimmy” Pallotta and sponsored by the North End Athletic Association in association with the Nazzaro Center, North End Against Drugs and Mayor’s Office of Tourism and Special Events. Buon Natale! Photos by Matt Conti.