By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
A tradition that dates back at least three decades continued Saturday night as Santa arrived on village square on a fire engine, said Andover Council President Myra Brown.
Brown said the annual Christmas parade has grown around the tradition and included 15 different units ranging from a senior citizens dance team to the Pymatuning Valley cheerleaders.
Children staked out their spots along the village square seeking an ideal place to grab candy thrown from passing floats and still be close to the line to see Santa Claus.
“This is the second year (coming to the parade). My granddaughter was in Girl Scouts last year. This year she’s in Cadets. We love coming to this parade,” said Colleen Kolesar of Andover.
Asha Hamilton, Little Miss Pymatuning, smiled broadly while waving to people along the parade route as temperatures dipped into the low 30s.
Children even had to dig through a coating of snow on the ground to grab some of the candy thrown to them from the parade floats.
Gina Gudukas, 21 months, of Pittsburgh was experiencing her first area Christmas parade all wrapped up in a winter jacket in the arms of her mother Carla Gudukas. The family comes to the area regularly and decided to visit this weekend.
Dozens of people waited in a long line to see Santa at the pavilion on the southeast side of the square. After seeing Santa the children were treated to hot chocolate and refreshments.
Firefighters threw candy from an Andover Fire Department engine and Santa stood on the side waving to the children before arriving at his chair in the pavilion.