Santa comes to town


Kim Beauchamp has been attending the annual Help Santa Toy Parade since she was a child.

Now, she’s passing on the tradition to her seven-year-old daughter, Alyssa McCoshen, and five-year-old niece, Emma Beauchamp.

“It’s their first time, so they’re really excited,” she said, as they camped out near Bank St. on Saturday evening, joining more than 100,000 people lining downtown streets for the 42nd annual parade.

The girls looked cozy, sitting in a wagon with blankets, snacks, and toys to donate.

About 150 firefighters walked the route, collecting cash and unwrapped toys.

Parade chairman David Andre said the items are sent to the Salvation Army then distributed to less-fortunate children in the city.

Kyra Harkes-Fortin, 11, and her brother Colby, 9, waited with two large boxes — MegaBloks and a baby stroller.

A few blocks north, Nick Downer’s nine-year-old golden retriever, Nakita, was turning heads in her red cape.

“She’s here to see Santa Paws and she wanted a new dress for the event, so we went and got one for her a week ago, and she’s having a wonderful time,” said Downer.

“She’s being very good.”

Over the years, the parade has raised millions of dollars for worthy causes.


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