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ABOUT TOWN: Stoughton Christmas Parade Highlights (And Santa Claus is Coming BACK to Town)

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e

CHRISTMAS PARADE ATTRACTS LARGE CROWD:  Sunday, December 9, the Annual Stoughton Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Community Events Committee, drew a large gathering in Stoughton Square. 

Over 100 hundred people got involved in a trivia game before the parade, an dozens won gift certificates to Papa John's Pizza, The Last Shot, and games provided by PMPNetwork, Inc.  That was the fun BEFORE the parade.

At 2 p.m., the first blaring of the sirens could be heard, and with the Stoughton Police Department's motorcycles, cruisers, SUV's, followed by Engine 4 and Ladder Truck 2 from the Stoughton Fire Department, the parade took off. 

It started at Stoughton High, went down Pearl Street, and turned onto Washington Street, where I was calling the action from the reviewing stand.  Jeff Connors of Audio PA Systems in Stoughton, provided the sound, to allow everyone to hear the play-by-play anywhere in the vicinity.  

Selectman Chairman John Stagnone marched with School Committee Chair Deb Sovinee, Vice Chair Joyce Husseini and SC member Dr. Erdem Ural.  All the School Committee members were festooned in beautiful orange and black knitted hats made by Husseini.  Police Chief Paul Shastany and Fire Chief Mark Dolloff were also there. Selectmen Vice Chair Cynthia Walsh rode in a black SUV driven by former selectman John Kowalczyk. They were proceeded by vehicles from Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti's Department.

The Stoughton High School Marching Band & Color Guard did two Christmas songs, in their inimitable award-winning way.  They were followed by beautiful cars, going back to the early 1900's, with the South Shore Model T Club.  The Stoughton Girl Scouts (led by Charlotte Mullen) and the Boy Scouts (led by Mark Racicot) were next. 

The Stoughton Avon Pop Warner Cheerleaders from STOYAC followed.  They were led by Coordinator Christine Woodard and Assistant Coordinator Christine Sheedy. (All cheerleading leaders must be named Christine, by statute.) The "B" Team Cheer squad was still celebrating their 1st Place finish at the Taunton Invitation Tournament and 1st Place in their division at the New England Cheer and Dance Competition at Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. They were also crowned Grand Champions for having the highest score of all Pop Warner teams competing.  The "C" Team took 3rd Place in Taunton and in the Hockomock Tournament.  The "D's" and "Mites" also performed exceptionally well during their exhibitions, according to Woodard.

The Boston Windjammers marched by playing music, but never stopped to play at the reviewing stand.  Neither did the Christmas Marching Unit or Hills Mills Clowns, the only other bands walking by.

There were representatives from the Stoughton Post Office, the West Elementary School, The DPW, and Ronald McDonald (who didn't stay after the parade to meet and greet.) 

Businesses were represented by Giovann Hair Salon, L.A. Express Hair Salon, Elite Fitness & Health, and Studio One Dance.  

But, the star of the show was Santa Claus, who rode with two elves in the 1928 fire truck, which once served Stoughton, and now belongs to the Stoughton Historical Society.  Former Selectman Joe Mokrisky drove Santa around.  Santa, in an exclusive interview, told About Town he prefers his sleigh. 

"Joe seemed like an OK guy, but his nose doesn't light up.  I think I'll stick to Rudolph and the other 7 reindeer.  And, the sleigh doesn't use gas.  I need to conserve my funds for toys for the kids around the world."

Kudos should go to parade Chairman Joe Mokrisky, who also chairs the Stoughton Community Events Committee. All the Committee's members have worked hard on the parade and the Christmas decorations around town.  The Committee includes Vice Chair Bob Desmond, and members Dennis and Carlene Walsh, Heather Genereux, Suzzane Gross, Lynne McCormack, Nancy Patterson, Larise Rubel, Maria Simas, Fran and Kevin Stetson.

Click here to see a photo gallery from this year's Christmas Parade (50+ photos!)

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SANTA IS COMING BACK TO TOWN:  He's making his list, He's checking it twice, and then he's heading back to Stoughton.  Santa Claus, who met hundreds of Stoughton youngsters at the Charles Large Gazebo on Sunday after the Christmas Parade, is coming back to town on Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton.

He's going to be the featured guest at a pancake breakfast, that will allow you to take a photo home of your child and Santa.

Children will have the chance to write letters to Santa, make reindeer food, and create holiday crafts. It's a lot of fun! Following Santa's visit, from noon-2 p.m., the Y will featuring Ginger Bread House Making.  (When it features Ginger Bread House EATING, let me know!) 

Cost is for $5 for members and $8 for non-members.  Registration and payment is required by Wednesday, December 12.  Call 781-341-2016 for more information.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To singer-songwriter Maria Sangiolo, a Stoughton native, who performed at the 2010 Stoughton Veteran's Day ceremony in honor of her dad, a WWII Vet, who has since passed away.  It was a windy day, but despite the weather, you'll love the tune she wrote for her dad, although the sound quality of the video is not great.  The song is also available for download at iTunes. Watch this Simmons College grad perform "25 Missions" on YOU TUBE

And, Happy Birthday to my friend Tom Keyes, a businessman, who ran unsuccessfully for State Senate against the incumbent State Senate president Theresa Murray.

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HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY: To Bruce Promisel, a Randolph import like myself, who works at Mercer, a financial consulting firm based in New York.  To Steve Leventhal, a rare young, active Republican in Massachusetts.  He's also a member of Ahavath Torah Congregation. They celebrated Sunday.

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