Christmas in the Parks, parade to return this season

Nov 17, 2021

The Wareham Village Association Christmas Parade and Onset Village’s Christmas in the Parks will both return this year after a one-year absence due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Leaders from both village associations joined the Select Board at a Nov. 16 meeting to share their plans.

Tracy McGraw of the Wareham Village Association had an unusual proposition for the Select Board members: The group, she said, could be the town crier to lead the parade — ahead even of the honor guard and first responders. 

“I have secured a cloak and a bell for one of you,” McGraw said. “And the others of you could walk and hand out candy, as you so like to do.”

While some expressed doubt about the prospect of wearing a town crier cloak — traditionally gaudy and red — board member Judith Whiteside said that she would see what costumes she could “beg, borrow, and steal” from Town Moderator and reenactor Claire Smith.

“As you know, the town criers go in front of the whole parade,” McGraw said. “‘Hear ye, hear ye! Here we come!’ What do you say?”

While they didn’t commit to the town crier role, the board agreed to find a way to be involved. 

“I’ll be driving my ‘64 Thunderbird sports roadster that I just put together, so they can walk alongside,” said board member Alan Slavin. 

Per town rules, no candy will be thrown — only handed out. 

McGraw said she anticipates a big turnout this year.

The parade will be held on Dec. 4 and start at 3 p.m. The route will begin at the High School before proceeding down to Main Street and ending in Besse Park.

Kat Jones of the Onset Bay Association said that her group is planning a scaled-down but festive Christmas in the Parks event for Dec. 11. 

Santa Claus will be visiting Salerno’s, and there will be a community sing-along on the Pier. Library Director Patrick Marshall has offered the Spinney Library as a venue for an activity for kids. 

Other businesses will also be pitching in with treats or specials, Jones said. 

“We’re really asking the village to pull together,” Jones said. 

The lobster trap Christmas tree will once again be built on the pier, and during the event, people will be able to drink hot chocolate and create ornaments to decorate the communal tree.

“I feel like this contraption was a beacon of hope for everybody in a time when we really needed it,” Jones said. “I can’t tell you how many pictures I saw… People were just really uplifted by this simple, simple creation that a lot of coastal towns do.”

Jones said that the association will be building the tree in collaboration with Kat Garofoli, the former director of the Onset Bay Center, but that more volunteers will be needed. 

Jones also offered up some other elegant costumes for the board: a star, Christmas tree or a snowman.

For more about the parade, click here. For more about the Onset Village event, click here.